December 5, 2017

Novel fMRI applications could help map language prior to epilepsy surgery

According to the study, “Novel Data-Driven Method for Language Dominance Derived from Resting-State and Language Task fMRI Functional Connectivity in Epilepsy Patients” [1]:

[Researchers] demonstrated the potential of using [their] novel data-driven method to parse the language network and establish reliable language laterality in task-free fMRI as well as task fMRI.

Presurgical language mapping is crucial to help evaluate the risk of postoperative deficits for epilepsy surgery. While fMRI provides a non-invasive method for this, task compliance is difficult for very young or intellectually impaired patients to obtain reliable activations.

[These results] may help expand the use of clinical fMRI because a successful study would no longer depend upon task performance of the epilepsy patient, opening its utility up to younger and more impaired populations.