Aphasia is a disorder of speech an language caused by a strategic brain lesion.
Broca’s aphasia is a non-fluent type of aphasia with preserved comprehension caused by a lesion in the dominant (usually left) frontal lobe.
Broca’s affects both speech and writing. Because comprehension is spared, patients can monitor their own speech and become frustrated.
Affected patients will often find some alternate means of communication, other than speaking or writing, like Breaking Bad’s Hector Salamanca:
Aphemia is similar to Broca’s aphasia, but is caused by smaller lesions such that affected patients cannot speak but can still communicate with writing:
Posted in Speech and language
- Tagged Aphasia, aphemia, Brain imaging, brain lesion, Broca, Broca's aphasia, comprehension, frontal lobe, Hector Salamanca, language, medicine, Neurology, speech
Epilepsy surgery is an option for patients with intractable partial onset seizures that are not controlled by oral medications. Epilepsy monitoring is used to localize the seizure focus, often a lesion or abnormal area of brain located in the temporal lobe. That part of the brain is then carefully removed to prevent future seizures:
A patient with a brain abnormality in the R temporal lobe (top) undergoes brain surgery to remove that area of brain and prevent future seizures.
Epilepsy surgery is very effective and yet still underutilized for treating seizures.
Left temporal lobe resections are more risky that right-sided cases, because the left hemisphere controls language functions in most (even left handed) patients. Surgeons have to be very careful planning seizure surgery on the left side to be sure that they do not damage brain critical for speech and language and leave the patient with aphasia.
That’s where functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) comes in. fMRI goes beyond the conventional imaging of brain structure, and can actually localize regional brain functions by detecting changes in regional blood flow in response actual or imagined activity.
fMRI is increasingly being used to evaluate candidates for epilepsy surgery by identifying important functional regions within the brain, including unpredictable patterns of functional reorganization, to prevent unexpected post-operative deficits. Click here for a link to a paper with illustrative cases.
Posted in electroencephalogram, epilepsy, functional MRI, Imaging, Neurosurgery, radiology, Speech and language, Therapeutics
- Tagged brain abnormality, Brain imaging, brain resection, dominant hemisphere, EEG, epilepsy, fMRI, functional magnetic resonance, functional MRI, functional reorganization, health, language, magnetic resonance imaging, medicine, mental-health, Neurology, partial onset seizures, seizure focus, seizure surgery, seizures, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, temporal lobectomy, therapeutics