Functional magnetic resonance imaging of language in epilepsy.

Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
Neuropsychology Review (Impact Factor: 5.4). 01/2008; 17(4):491-504. DOI: 10.1007/s11065-007-9050-x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has revolutionized our understanding of functional networks and cerebral organization in both normal and pathological brains. In the present review, we describe the use of fMRI for mapping language in epilepsy patients prior to surgical intervention including a discussion of methodological issues and task design, comparisons between fMRI and the intracarotid sodium amobarbital test, fMRI studies of language reorganization, and the use of fMRI laterality indexes to predict outcome after anterior temporal lobectomy.

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    ABSTRACT: For more than a century, speech repetition has been used as an assay for gauging the integrity of the auditory-motor pathway in aphasia, thought classically to involve a linkage between Wernicke's area and Broca's area via the arcuate fasciculus. During the last decade, evidence primarily from functional imaging in healthy individuals has refined this picture both computationally and anatomically, suggesting the existence of a cortical hub located at the parietal-temporal boundary (area Spt) that functions to integrate auditory and motor speech networks for both repetition and spontaneous speech production. While functional imaging research can pinpoint the regions activated in repetition/auditory-motor integration, lesion-based studies are needed to infer causal involvement. Previous lesion studies of repetition have yielded mixed results with respect to Spt's critical involvement in speech repetition. The present study used voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM) to investigate the neuroanatomy of repetition of both real words and non-words in a sample of 47 patients with focal left hemisphere brain damage. VLSMs identified a large voxel cluster spanning gray and white matter in the left temporal-parietal junction, including area Spt, where damage was significantly related to poor non-word repetition. Repetition of real words implicated a very similar dorsal network including area Spt. Cortical regions including Spt were implicated in repetition performance even when white matter damage was factored out. In addition, removing variance associated with speech perception abilities did not alter the overall lesion pattern for either task. Together with past functional imaging work, our results suggest that area Spt is integral in both word and non-word repetition, that its contribution is above and beyond that made by white matter pathways, and is not driven by perceptual processes alone. These findings are highly consistent with the claim that Spt is an area of sensory-motor translation in speech processing. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuropsychologia 03/2015; 71. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.03.012 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical use of a method to assess hemispheric language dominance in pediatric candidates for epilepsy surgery. The method is designed for patients but has previously been evaluated with healthy children. Methods Nineteen patients, 8–18 years old, with intractable epilepsy and candidates for epilepsy surgery were assessed. The assessment consisted of two functional MRI protocols (fMRI) intended to target frontal and posterior language networks respectively, and a behavioral dichotic listening task (DL). Regional left/right indices for each fMRI task from the frontal, temporal and parietal lobe were calculated, and left/right indices of the DL task were calculated from responses of consonants and vowels, separately. A quantitative analysis of each patient's data set was done in two steps based on clearly specified criteria. First, fMRI data and DL data were analyzed separately to determine whether the result from each of these assessments were conclusive or not. Thereafter, the results from the individual assessments were combined to reach a final conclusion regarding hemispheric language dominance. Results For 14 of the 19 subjects (74%) a conclusion was reached about their hemispheric language dominance. Nine subjects had a left-sided and five subjects had a right-sided hemispheric dominance. In three cases (16%) DL provided critical data to reach a conclusive result. Conclusions The success rate of conclusive language lateralization assessments in this study is comparable to reported rates on similar challenged pediatric populations. The results are promising but data from more patients than in the present study will be required to conclude on the clinical applicability of the method.
    12/2014; 48. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.12.011
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    ABSTRACT: Cortical and Subcortical Networks in Human Secondarily Generalized Tonic–Clonic Seizures. Blumenfeld H, Varghese GI, Purcaro MJ, Motelow JE, Enev M, McNally KA, Levin AR, Hirsch LJ, Tikofsky R, Zubal IG, Paige AL, Spencer SS. Brain 2009;132(Pt 4):999–1012. Generalized tonic–clonic seizures are among the most dramatic physiological events in the nervous system. The brain regions involved during partial seizures with secondary generalization have not been thoroughly investigated in humans. We used single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to image cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes in 59 secondarily generalized seizures from 53 patients. Images were analyzed using statistical parametric mapping to detect cortical and subcortical regions most commonly affected in three different time periods: 1) during the partial seizure phase prior to generalization; 2) during the generalization period; and 3) postictally. We found that in the pregeneralization period, there were focal CBF increases in the temporal lobe on group analysis, reflecting the most common region of partial seizure onset. During generalization, individual patients had focal CBF increases in variable regions of the cerebral cortex. Group analysis during generalization revealed that the most consistent increase occurred in the superior medial cerebellum, thalamus, and basal ganglia. Postictally, there was a marked progressive CBF increase in the cerebellum that spread to involve the bilateral lateral cerebellar hemispheres, as well as CBF increases in the midbrain and basal ganglia. CBF decreases were seen in the fronto-parietal association cortex, precuneus, and cingulate gyrus during and following seizures, similar to the “default mode” regions reported previously to show decreased activity in seizures and in normal behavioral tasks. Analysis of patient behavior during and following seizures showed impaired consciousness at the time of SPECT tracer injections. Correlation analysis across patients demonstrated that cerebellar CBF increases were related to increases in the upper brainstem and thalamus, and to decreases in the fronto-parietal association cortex. These results reveal a network of cortical and subcortical structures that are most consistently involved in secondarily generalized tonic–clonic seizures. Abnormal increased activity in subcortical structures (cerebellum, basal ganglia, brainstem, and thalamus), along with decreased activity in the association cortex may be crucial for motor manifestations and for impaired consciousness in tonic–clonic seizures. Understanding the networks involved in generalized tonic–clonic seizures can provide insights into mechanisms of behavioral changes, and may elucidate targets for improved therapies.
    07/2010; 10(4). DOI:10.1111/j.1535-7511.2010.01363.x

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