Cases reported "Brain Injuries"

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1/53. Differential pupillary constriction and awareness in the absence of striate cortex.

    The fact that the pupil constricts differentially to visual stimuli in the absence of changes in light energy makes it a valuable tool for studying normal function as well as residual capacity in hemianopic subjects. When pupillometrically effective stimuli such as equiluminant gratings or coloured patches with an abrupt onset and offset are presented to the 'blind' hemifield, a hemianopic subject with damage largely restricted to striate cortex (V1) sometimes reports being 'aware' of the transient onset/offset, although without 'seeing' as such. The question addressed here is whether the pupil still responds in the condition of blindsight in its strict sense--i.e. discriminative capacity in the absence of acknowledged awareness--when stimuli are deliberately designed to eliminate awareness. This was accomplished by making stimulus onset and offset slow and gradual. The results with a well-studied hemianope, G.Y., demonstrate that there is still a pupillary constriction to isoluminant achromatic gratings and red-coloured stimuli, although reduced in size, in the absence of acknowledged awareness.
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2/53. Emotional impairment after right orbitofrontal lesion in a patient without cognitive deficits.

    The present study describes a patient, M.L., with right orbitofrontal lesion, who showed no impairment on main neuropsychological tests, including those measuring frontal functions. Nevertheless, he had deeply affected emotional responses. In line with Damasio's work, the patient had lower skin conductance during the projection of a standardized set of emotional slides. Furthermore, he showed altered facial expressions to unpleasant emotions, displaying low corrugator supercilii electromyographical activity associated with reduced recall of unpleasant stimuli. During a task focusing on imagery of emotional situations, M.L.'s heart rate and skin conductance responses were affected during both pleasant and unpleasant conditions. Facial expressions to unpleasant imagery scripts were also impaired. Thus, the orbitofrontal cortex proved to play a critical role in retrieval of psychophysiological emotional patterns, particularly to unpleasant material. These results provide the first evidence that orbitofrontal lesions are associated with emotional impairment at several psychophysiological levels.
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3/53. air-puff-induced facilitation of motor cortical excitability studied in patients with discrete brain lesions.

    air-puff stimulation applied to a fingertip is known to exert a location-specific facilitatory effect on the size of the motor evoked potentials elicited in hand muscles by transcranial magnetic stimulation. In order to clarify its nature and the pathway responsible for its generation, we studied 27 patients with discrete lesions in the brain (16, 9 and 2 patients with lesions in the cerebral cortex, thalamus and brainstem, respectively). Facilitation was absent in patients with lesions affecting the primary sensorimotor area, whereas it was preserved in patients with cortical lesions that spared this area. Facilitation was abolished with thalamic lesions that totally destroyed the nucleus ventralis posterolateralis (VPL), but was preserved with lesions that at least partly spared it. Lesions of the spinothalamic tract did not impair facilitation. The size of the N20-P25 component of the somatosensory evoked potential showed a mild correlation with the amount of facilitation. The facilitation is mainly mediated by sensory inputs that ascend the dorsal column and reach the cortex through VPL. These are fed into the primary motor area via the primary sensory area, especially its anterior portion, corresponding to Brodmann areas 3 and 1 (possibly also area 2), without involving other cortical regions. The spinothalamic tract and direct thalamic inputs into the motor cortex do not contribute much to this effect. Some patients could generate voluntary movements despite the absence of the facilitatory effect. The present method will enable us to investigate in humans the function of one of the somatotopically organized sensory feedback input pathways into the motor cortex, and will be useful in monitoring ongoing finger movements during object manipulation.
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4/53. lipoma of the adrenal gland.

    A rare case of a lipoma of the adrenal gland is reported with a review of the literature. The tumor was incidentally found at autopsy in a 50-year-old man who died from severe head trauma after a traffic injury. At autopsy, an oval-shaped, soft yellow nodule measuring 1.1 cm in diameter was found in the right adrenal cortex. Histological examination revealed a lesion consisting of mature adipose tissue partially surrounded by a thin fibrous capsule. On serial sections there was no evidence of hematopoiesis nor of adrenal medulla cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the eighth case described in the English literature. With the increasing use and the high resolution of modern imaging techniques, these unsuspected adrenal masses may become more prevalent.
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keywords = cortex, adrenal
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5/53. Enhanced accuracy in differential diagnosis of radiation necrosis by positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging coregistration: technical case report.

    OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: To demonstrate the usefulness of positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) coregistration for differentiation of radiation necrosis and recurrent tumor in stereotactic planning. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: T1-weighted MRI scans of a 43-year-old woman revealed a contrast-enhancing lesion 4 years after open removal of a recurrent, right parieto-occipital Grade II oligodendroglioma and subsequent external radiation therapy. The suspected contrast-enhancing lesion revealed only moderate tracer uptake (1.3 times the uptake in the contralateral normal cortex) in a coregistered [11C]methionine positron emission tomographic scan. Approximately 15 mm posterior and mesial to the center of the contrast-enhancing lesion, however, an area of higher tracer uptake was found (1.8 times that of the contralateral normal cortex), which exhibited only very minor contrast enhancement on MRI. TECHNIQUE: The coregistered images were used for planning stereotactic serial biopsies, from the contrast-enhancing lesion as well as from the area with higher methionine uptake. Histological examination demonstrated that the contrast-enhancing lesion with low methionine uptake was necrotic tissue, and the nonenhancing area with high methionine uptake was recurrent tumor. CONCLUSION: High-resolution positron emission tomography and modern coregistration techniques allow differentiation of contrast enhancement and methionine uptake in irradiated brain tissue within small areas. High methionine uptake is typical for recurrent tumor tissue and can be differentiated from minor tracer accumulation resulting from disruption of the blood-brain barrier or macrophage activity within the necrotic area.
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6/53. Impaired social response reversal. A case of 'acquired sociopathy'.

    In this study, we report a patient (J.S.) who, following trauma to the right frontal region, including the orbitofrontal cortex, presented with 'acquired sociopathy'. His behaviour was notably aberrant and marked by high levels of aggression and a callous disregard for others. A series of experimental investigations were conducted to address the cognitive dysfunction that might underpin his profoundly aberrant behaviour. His performance was contrasted with that of a second patient (C.L.A.), who also presented with a grave dysexecutive syndrome but no socially aberrant behaviour, and five inmates of Wormwood Scrubs prison with developmental psychopathy. While J.S. showed no reversal learning impairment, he presented with severe difficulty in emotional expression recognition, autonomic responding and social cognition. Unlike the comparison populations, J.S. showed impairment in: the recognition of, and autonomic responding to, angry and disgusted expressions; attributing the emotions of fear, anger and embarrassment to story protagonists; and the identification of violations of social behaviour. The findings are discussed with reference to models regarding the role of the orbitofrontal cortex in the control of aggression. It is suggested that J.S.'s impairment is due to a reduced ability to generate expectations of others' negative emotional reactions, in particular anger. In healthy individuals, these representations act to suppress behaviour that is inappropriate in specific social contexts. Moreover, it is proposed that the orbitofrontal cortex may be implicated specifically either in the generation of these expectations or the use of these expectations to suppress inappropriate behaviour.
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7/53. Foreign Accent syndrome following a catastrophic second injury: MRI correlates, linguistic and voice pattern analyses.

    A case study of Foreign Accent syndrome (FAS) is presented with discussion of anatomical localization of injury and comparisons of pre- and postinjury linguistic, phonetic, and acoustic speech characteristics. Because the patient's injury and symptoms were unrelated to previously injured left frontal cortex, and in light of another case history (Moonis et al., 1996), we suggest that FAS has a primary subcortical involvement. We also show that this case is accompanied by a deficit in linguistic, but not affective, prosodic expression. We agree that the "foreign" quality of the FAS speech is a perceptual impression of the listener and not inherent in the patient's vocalization. Finally, we suggest a battery of tests for future FAS cases to further our study and understanding of the syndrome.
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8/53. The rehabilitation of attention in individuals with mild traumatic brain injury, using the APT-II programme.

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a prevalent cause of cognitive impairments and dysfunctions and affects over 2 million individuals each year. Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is generally defined by a brief loss of consciousness, and post-traumatic amnesia that lasts for less than 24 hours. One region of the brain that is likely affected in patients with MTBI is the pre-frontal cortex. This region mediates several functions, including those required for adequate attention. Three individuals, diagnosed with MTBI and difficulties with attention, volunteered to participate in the study. Individuals were presented with 10 weeks of cognitive retraining with the attention Process Training-II (APT-II) programme, followed by 6 or 7 weeks of educational and applicational programmes. Cognitive tests were administered both pre- and post-training to assess the effectiveness of the programme. Analysis of the results showed that the APT-II programme improved attention and performance speed in each of the three individuals. In addition, any rehabilitated cognitive skills remained stable in each individual in the absence of the rehabilitation programme for at least 6 weeks.
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keywords = cortex
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9/53. Enhanced responsiveness of human extravisual areas to photic stimulation in patients with severely reduced vision.

    Lesions in the primary visual cortex induce severe loss of visual perception. Depending on the size of the lesion, the visual field might be affected by small scotomas, hemianopia, or complete loss of vision (cortical blindness). In many cases, the whole visual field of the patient is affected by the lesion, but diffuse light-dark discrimination remains (residual rudimentary vision, RRV). In other cases, a sparing of a few degrees can be found (severely reduced vision, SRV).In a follow-up study, we mapped visually induced cerebral activation of three subjects with SRV using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We were especially interested in the visual areas that would be activated if subjects could perceive the stimulus consciously although information flow from V1 to higher visual areas was strongly reduced or virtually absent. Because subjects were only able to discriminate strong light from darkness, we used goggles flashing intense red light at a frequency of 3 Hz for full visual field stimulation. Besides reduced activation in V1, we found activation in the parietal cortex, the frontal eye fields (FEF), and the supplementary eye fields (SEF). In all patients, FEF activation was pronounced in the right hemisphere. These patterns were never seen in healthy volunteers. In a patient who recovered completely, we observed that extrastriate activation disappeared in parallel with the visual field restitution. This result suggests that damage to the primary visual cortex changes the responsiveness of parietal and extravisual frontal areas in patients with SRV. This unexpected result might be explained by increased stimulus-related activation of attention-related networks.
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10/53. Neural fate of seen and unseen faces in visuospatial neglect: a combined event-related functional MRI and event-related potential study.

    To compare neural activity produced by visual events that escape or reach conscious awareness, we used event-related MRI and evoked potentials in a patient who had neglect and extinction after focal right parietal damage, but intact visual fields. This neurological disorder entails a loss of awareness for stimuli in the field contralateral to a brain lesion when stimuli are simultaneously presented on the ipsilateral side, even though early visual areas may be intact, and single contralateral stimuli may still be perceived. Functional MRI and event-related potential study were performed during a task where faces or shapes appeared in the right, left, or both fields. Unilateral stimuli produced normal responses in V1 and extrastriate areas. In bilateral events, left faces that were not perceived still activated right V1 and inferior temporal cortex and evoked nonsignificantly reduced N1 potentials, with preserved face-specific negative potentials at 170 ms. When left faces were perceived, the same stimuli produced greater activity in a distributed network of areas including right V1 and cuneus, bilateral fusiform gyri, and left parietal cortex. Also, effective connectivity between visual, parietal, and frontal areas increased during perception of faces. These results suggest that activity can occur in V1 and ventral temporal cortex without awareness, whereas coupling with dorsal parietal and frontal areas may be critical for such activity to afford conscious perception.
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