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Acquired aphasia in children after surgical resection of left-thalamic tumors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2000

Ruth Nass
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
Leslie Boyce
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
Fern Leventhal
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
Beth Levine
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
Jeffrey Allen
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
Carol Maxfield
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
David Salsberg
Affiliation:
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
Martha Sarno
Affiliation:
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
Ajax George
Affiliation:
Department of Radiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, USA.
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Abstract

Five children (three males, two females; four right-, one left-handed; age range 6 to 14 years) who developed aphasia after gross-total excision of left predominantly thalamic tumors are reported. Three patients had Broca aphasia, one had mixed transcortical aphasia, and one patient had conduction aphasia. In the months after surgery three children improved while receiving radiation and/or chemotherapy, although none recovered completely. Two patients with malignant tumors developed worsening aphasia when the tumor recurred and later died. Two patients (of three tested) had visuospatial difficulties in addition to language deficits. Attention and executive functioning were affected in three of three patients tested. Memory, verbal and/or visual functioning, were affected in four of four patients tested. Both patients who were tested showed transient right hemineglect. Two (of two tested) were probably apraxic. The wide range of deficits in these children highlights the importance of the thalamus and other subcortical structures in developing cognition.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© 2000 Mac Keith Press

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