Cases reported "Brain Damage, Chronic"

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1/52. Impairment of social and moral behavior related to early damage in human prefrontal cortex.

    The long-term consequences of early prefrontal cortex lesions occurring before 16 months were investigated in two adults. As is the case when such damage occurs in adulthood, the two early-onset patients had severely impaired social behavior despite normal basic cognitive abilities, and showed insensitivity to future consequences of decisions, defective autonomic responses to punishment contingencies and failure to respond to behavioral interventions. Unlike adult-onset patients, however, the two patients had defective social and moral reasoning, suggesting that the acquisition of complex social conventions and moral rules had been impaired. Thus early-onset prefrontal damage resulted in a syndrome resembling psychopathy.
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2/52. A paradoxical improvement of misreaching in optic ataxia: new evidence for two separate neural systems for visual localization.

    We tested a patient (A. T.) with bilateral brain damage to the parietal lobes, whose resulting 'optic ataxia' causes her to make large pointing errors when asked to locate single light emitting diodes presented in her visual field. We report here that, unlike normal individuals, A. T.'s pointing accuracy improved when she was required to wait for 5 s before responding. This counter-intuitive result is interpreted as reflecting the very brief time-scale on which visuomotor control systems in the superior parietal lobe operate. When an immediate response was required, A. T.'s damaged visuomotor system caused her to make large errors; but when a delay was required, a different, more flexible, visuospatial coding system--presumably relatively intact in her brain--came into play, resulting in much more accurate responses. The data are consistent with a dual processing theory whereby motor responses made directly to visual stimuli are guided by a dedicated system in the superior parietal and premotor cortices, while responses to remembered stimuli depend on perceptual processing and may thus crucially involve processing within the temporal neocortex.
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3/52. Unconscious activation of visual cortex in the damaged right hemisphere of a parietal patient with extinction.

    Visual extinction is a sign classically associated with right parietal damage. The patient can see a single stimulus presented in the ipsilesional or contralesional visual field, but is characteristically unaware of the same contralesional stimulus during simultaneous stimulation of both fields. The ipsilesional stimulus is said to 'extinguish' the contralesional stimulus from awareness during bilateral stimulation, perhaps due to a pathological bias in attention towards the ipsilesional side. Recent psychophysical evidence suggests that, although extinguished stimuli are not consciously seen, they may undergo residual processing and exert implicit effects on performance. However, the neural structures mediating such residual processing for extinguished stimuli remain unknown. Here we studied the neural activity evoked by an extinguished visual stimulus, using event-related functional MRI (fMRI), in a patient with circumscribed right inferior parietal damage and profound left-sided extinction. Monochrome objects (faces or houses) were presented in the left or right field, either unilaterally or bilaterally on each trial, with the patient indicating by button press whether he saw an object on the left, the right or on both sides. He usually saw only the right object on bilateral trials, yet the fMRI data showed activation of visual cortex contralateral to the extinguished left stimulus on these trials (compared with right-only stimulation), in both striate and early extrastriate areas of the right hemisphere. This activity had a similar location and time-course to that resulting from a single stimulus in the left versus right visual field. Cortical pathways involved in the normal processing of a single seen stimulus can thus still be activated by an unseen, extinguished stimulus after right parietal damage. Comparison of fMRI responses for faces versus houses revealed some category-specific activation for extinguished stimuli in right fusiform regions, but only at low statistical threshold. These results are discussed in terms of theoretical accounts for parietal extinction and, more generally, for the neural substrates of visual awareness.
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4/52. Conflict of intentions due to callosal disconnection.

    OBJECTIVES: Three patients with callosal syndrome manifested a peculiar symptom in that they were unable to perform intended whole body actions because another intention emerged in competition with the original one. Attempts were made to clarify the symptomatology of this manifestation and its possible mechanism is discussed. methods: The three patients are described and previous reports on patients with callosal damage were reviewed. Four additional patients with similar symptoms were found and the clinical features common to all seven patients were examined. RESULTS: This symptom could not be attributed to unilateral movement disorders such as unilateral apraxia, intermanual conflict, or compulsive manipulation of tools. The manifestations included marked hesitation in initiating actions, interruption of actions, repetitive actions, and performance of unintended actions with difficulty in correcting them. All patients, except one, had a lesion in the posterior half of the body of the corpus callosum, and there was no significant involvement of the cerebral cortex. The symptom became manifest later than 4 weeks after callosal damage. It occurred during spontaneous actions, but not during well automated actions nor when following instructions. CONCLUSION: This symptom, tentatively named "conflict of intentions", can be regarded as a fragment of diagonistic dyspraxia originally described by Akelaitis, although it can occur independently of intermanual conflict. Normally, the right and left cerebral hemispheres may be complementarily modifying automated whole body actions in order to adapt behaviour to changes of the environment as well as to the intention. Partial callosal disconnection without significant cortical involvement would exaggerate the disparity between the role of each hemisphere through the reorganisation of neural systems after callosal damage. Such double, often contrary, behavioural tendencies may sometimes simultaneously enter the patient's awareness.
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5/52. Long-term results of functional hemispherectomy for intractable seizures.

    OBJECTIVE: From May 1989 to April 1997, functional hemispherectomy was performed in 8 cases of intractable seizures. We retrospectively analyzed our experience to evaluate the seizure control and complications of this surgical technique. methods: Following Dr. Rasmussen's model of functional hemispherectomy or performing a modification of this operation, we removed the sensorimotor cortex and temporal lobe associated with disconnection of the remaining portions of the frontal lobe and parieto-occipital lobe. RESULTS: All the patients were followed up for 3-11 years (mean 6.7 years). Satisfactory seizure control was obtained in all the cases. life quality improved and patients worked or studied well after the operations. No cases of superficial cerebral hemosiderosis were found. CONCLUSION: Modified functional hemispherectomy may allow the patients to lead more independent lives by leading to a cessation or reduced frequency of seizures.
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6/52. Verbal encoding deficits in a patient with a left retrosplenial lesion.

    Over the past decade, memory impairments associated with retrosplenial damage have received increased attention among neuroscientists, although the exact role of the retrosplenial region in memory has not been clearly defined. Evidence from lesion studies and functional neuroimaging has implicated the retrosplenial region in verbal episodic memory, temporal ordering of information, and topographical memory. In addition, recent positron emission tomography studies have shown increased activation of the retrosplenial cortex during tasks involving both the encoding and retrieval of episodic information. The objective of this study was to define more clearly the nature of memory impairments observed in retrosplenial amnesia. A 47-year-old amnesic male with a left retrosplenial arteriovenous malformation was examined on neurocognitive tasks of automatic and directed encoding, temporal ordering of information, and remote memory. Despite normal performance on frontal cognitive tasks, intact memory for remote information, and a superior IQ, this individual exhibited a profound deficit in the encoding of information, evidenced by poor release from proactive interference, poor category clustering on word list recall, poor semantic encoding on a levels of processing task, and mild impairments in temporal ordering. These results imply that the retrosplenial region plays a role in the verbal encoding of information, which contributes to the profound verbal memory impairment reported in previous case studies of patients with retrosplenial damage.
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7/52. Neural correlates of conscious and unconscious vision in parietal extinction.

    brain areas activated by stimuli in the left visual field of a right parietal patient suffering from left visual extinction were identified using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. Left visual field stimuli that were extinguished from awareness still activated the ventral visual cortex, including areas in the damaged right hemisphere. An extinguished face stimulus on the left produced robust category-specific activation of the right fusiform face area. On trials where the left visual stimulus was consciously seen rather than extinguished, greater activity was found in the ventral visual cortex of the damaged hemisphere, and also in frontal and parietal areas of the intact hemisphere. These findings extend recent observations on visual extinction, suggesting distinct neural correlates for conscious and unconscious perception.
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8/52. Tactile agnosia and tactile aphasia: symptomatological and anatomical differences.

    Two patients with tactile naming disorders are reported. Case 1 (right hand tactile agnosia due to bilateral cerebral infarction) differentiated tactile qualities of objects normally, but could neither name nor categorize the objects. Case 2 (bilateral tactile aphasia after operation of an epidural left parietal haematoma) had as severe a tactile naming disturbance as Case 1, but could categorize objects normally, demonstrating that tactile recognition was preserved. Case 1 may be the first case of tactile agnosia clearly differentiated from tactile aphasia. CT scans of Case 1 revealed lesions in the left angular gyrus, and in the right parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Case 2 had lesions in the left angular gyrus and of posterior callosal radiations. Our findings suggest that tactile agnosia appears when the somatosensory association cortex is disconnected by a subcortical lesion of the angular gyrus from the semantic memory store located in the inferior temporal lobe, while tactile aphasia represents a tactual-verbal disconnection.
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9/52. Case report: acquired antisocial personality disorder associated with unilateral left orbital frontal lobe damage.

    We report on our analysis of a patient who developed personality changes which strongly resembled an antisocial personality disorder after surgical resection of a pituitary tumor. Despite behavioral changes that were obvious to friends, family and health care professionals, formal neuropsychological and personality testing revealed no specific cognitive deficits or psychopathology. We hypothesize that damage to a circumscribed region of the left orbitofrontal cortex, illustrated by magnetic resonance imaging, underlies these personality alterations. In contrast to previous reports, which ascribe such personality changes to bilateral frontal lobe injury, we suggest that unilateral frontal lobe damage alone may have resulted in the development of this syndrome.
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10/52. Developmental outcomes after early prefrontal cortex damage.

    The neuropsychological bases of cognitive, social, and moral development are minimally understood, with a seemingly wide chasm between developmental theories and brain maturation models. As one approach to bridging ideas in these areas, we review 10 cases of early prefrontal cortex damage from the clinical literature, highlighting overall clinical profiles and real life developmental outcomes. Based on these cases, there is preliminary evidence to support distinctive developmental differences after: (1) dorsolateral, (2) mesial, and (3) orbital-polar prefrontal lesions, for more profound impairments after bilateral damage, and possibly for recovery differences after very early vs. later childhood lesion onset. Further case and group studies are needed to confirm reliable effects of specific lesion locations, the influence of age of lesion onset, and related experiential and treatment variables in determining adult outcomes. Rather than a single underlying deficit associated with early prefrontal cortex damage, we interpret the findings to suggest that it is the altered integration and interplay of cognitive, emotional, self-regulatory, and executive/metacognitive deficits that contribute to diverse developmental frontal lobe syndromes. The findings support the fundamental importance of prefrontal cortex maturation in protracted cognitive, social-emotional, and moral development.
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