fMRI Shows Atypical Language Lateralization in Pediatric Epilepsy Patients
Article first published online: 6 MAR 2006
Volume 47, Issue 3, pages 593–600, March 2006
How to Cite
Yuan, W., Szaflarski, J. P., Schmithorst, V. J., Schapiro, M., Byars, A. W., Strawsburg, R. H. and Holland, S. K. (2006), fMRI Shows Atypical Language Lateralization in Pediatric Epilepsy Patients. Epilepsia, 47: 593–600. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2006.00474.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 6 MAR 2006
- Accepted October 16, 2005.
- Language development;
- Lateralization index
Summary: Purpose: The goal of this study was to compare language lateralization between pediatric epilepsy patients and healthy children.
Methods: Two groups of subjects were evaluated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) by using a silent verb-generation task. The first group included 18 pediatric epilepsy patients, whereas the control group consisted of 18 age/gender/handedness-matched healthy subjects.
Results: A significant difference in hemispheric lateralization index (LI) was found between children with epilepsy (mean LI =−0.038) and the age/gender/handedness–matched healthy control subjects (mean LI = 0.257; t = 6.490, p < 0.0001). A dramatic difference also was observed in the percentage of children with epilepsy (77.78%) who had atypical LI (right-hemispheric or bilateral, LI < 0.1) when compared with the age/gender/handedness-matched group (11.11%; χ2= 16.02, p < 0.001). A linear regression analysis showed a trend toward increasing language lateralization with age in healthy controls (R2= 0.152; p = 0.108). This association was not observed in pediatric epilepsy subjects (R2= 0.004, p = 0.80). A significant association between language LI and epilepsy duration also was found (R2= 0.234, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: This study shows that epilepsy during childhood is associated with neuroplasticity and reorganization of language function.