Diffusion tensor imaging and diffusion tensor imaging-fibre tractograph depict the mechanisms of Broca-like and Wernicke-like conduction aphasia.

Conduction aphasia is usually considered a result of damage of the arcuate fasciculus, which is subjacent to the parietal portion of the supra-marginal gyrus and the upper part of the insula. It is important to stress that many features of conduction aphasia relate to a cortical deficit, more than a pure disconnection mechanism. In this study, we explore the mechanism of Broca-like and Wernicke-like conduction aphasia by using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and diffusion tensor imaging-fibre tractograph (DT-FT).We enrolled five Broca-like conduction aphasia cases, five Wernicke-like aphasia conduction cases and 10 healthy volunteers residing in Beijing and speaking Mandarin. All are right handed. We analyzed the arcuate fasciculus, Broca’s areas and Wernicke’s areas by DTI and measured fractional anisotrogy (FA). The results of left and right hemispheres were compared in both conduction aphasia cases and volunteers. Then the results of the conduction aphasia cases were compared with those of volunteers. The fibre construction of Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas was also compared by DTI-FT.The FA occupied by the identified connective pathways (Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area and the arcuate fasciculus) in the left hemisphere was larger than that in the right hemisphere in the control group (P<0�05). Among Broca-like conduction aphasia cases, the FA of the left Broca's area was smaller than that of the right mirror side (P<0�05), and the FA of the left anterior segment of the arcuate fasciculus was smaller than that of right mirror side (P<0�05). On the other hand, among Wernicke-like conduction aphasia patients, the FA of the left Wernicke's area was smaller than that of right mirror side (P<0�05), and the FA of left posterior segment of arcuate fasciculus was smaller than that of right mirror side (P<0�05).Conduction aphasia results from not only arcuate fasciculus destruction, but also from disruption of the associated cortical areas. Along different segments of the arcuate fasciculus, the characteristics of language disorders of conduction aphasia were different. A lesion involving Broca's area and the anterior segments of the arcuate fasciculus would lead to Broca-like conduction aphasia, whereas a lesion involved Wernicke's area and posterior segments of the arcuate fasciculus would lead to Wernicke-like conduction aphasia.

from Neurological Research

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Posted on June 15, 2011, in Research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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