n South African Medical Journal - Functional MRI language mapping in pre-surgical epilepsy patients : findings from a series of patients in the Epilepsy Unit at Mediclinic Constantiaberg : research

Volume 103, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is commonly applied to study the neural substrates of language in clinical research and for neurosurgical planning. fMRI language mapping is used to assess language lateralisation, or determine hemispheric dominance, and to localise regions of the brain involved in language. Routine fMRI has been introduced in the Epilepsy Unit at Mediclinic Constantiaberg to contribute to the current functional mapping procedures used in pre-surgical planning.

In this paper we describe the language paradigms used in these routine studies as well as the results from 22 consecutive epilepsy patients. Multi-subject analyses were performed to assess the reliability of activation patterns generated by two language mapping paradigms, namely a verb generation task and passive listening task. Results from a finger-tapping task are also presented.
The paradigms generate reliable and robust signal changes, enabling both the lateralisation of language and localisation of expressive and receptive language cortex.
The fMRI results are meaningful at the group and individual level and can be recommended for language mapping in pre-surgical patients.

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