[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the seminal work of Broca in 1861, it is well established that language is essentially processed in the left hemisphere. However, the origin of hemispheric specialization remains controversial. Some authors posit that language lateralization is genetically determined, while others have suggested that hemispheric specialization develops with age. Tenants of the latter view have further suggested that the adult pattern of left hemispheric specialization is achieved by means of callosal inhibition of homologous speech areas in the right hemisphere during ontogeny. According to this hypothesis, one would expect language to develop bilaterally in the acallosal brain. A recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in one patient with agenesis of the corpus callosum suggests that this might indeed be the case (Riecker et al., 2007). However, given the large anatomic and functional variability in the population of subjects with agenesis of the corpus callosum, this finding needs to be more extensively replicated. In the present study, we explored language lateralization in six individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum using an fMRI protocol which included a syntactic decision task and a sub-vocal verbal fluency task. Two neurologically intact control groups, one comparable to the acallosals in terms of IQ, age and education (n=6) and one group with a high IQ (n=5), performed the same tasks. No differences were found between language lateralization of the subjects with agenesis of the corpus callosum and the control groups in the receptive speech task. However, for expressive speech, the groups differed with respect to frontal activations, with the acallosal participants showing a more bilateral pattern of activation than the high-IQ participants only. No differences were found for temporal regions. Overall, these results indicate that the corpus callosum is not essential for the establishment of lateralized language functions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The intracarotid amobarbital test (IAT) is used for presurgical evaluation of language lateralization. However, this procedure has many limitations, especially in children. As an alternative to IAT, in the case described here, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to investigate expressive and receptive language lateralization as part of the presurgical evaluation of a 9-year-old Yiddish-speaking boy with a probable left temporal epileptic focus. This child could not tolerate IAT or functional MRI. He underwent two NIRS recording sessions while performing expressive and receptive language tasks. Results indicated predominantly left-sided expressive language in Broca's area with ipsilateral cortical recruitment of more posterior regions. Receptive language showed a bilateral cerebral pattern, perhaps as an expression of cerebral plasticity or compensation in this young patient. This case report illustrates that NIRS may contribute to presurgical investigation and could become a noninvasive alternative to IAT and functional MRI in determining speech lateralization in children.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cognitive outcome of the surgical removal of an epileptic focus depends on the assessment of the localisation and functional capacity of language and memory areas which need to be spared by the neurosurgeon. Traditionally, presurgical evaluation of epileptic patients has been achieved by means of the intracarotid amobarbital test assisted by neuropsychological measures. However, the advent of neuroimaging techniques has provided new ways of assessing these functions by means of non-invasive or minimally invasive methods, such as anatomical and functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, single-photon emission computed tomography, transcranial magnetic stimulation, functional transcranial Doppler monitoring, magnetoencephalography and near infrared spectroscopy. This paper aims at comparing and evaluating the traditional and recent preoperative approaches from a neuropsychological perspective.
Epileptic disorders: international epilepsy journal with videotape 07/2007; 9(2):111-26. · 1.17 Impact Factor