Background: Little is known about the regions involved in recovery from global aphasia in patients with malignant infarction after decompressive hemicraniectomy. This study reports a case of brain activation during speech perception in a right-handed patient with a massive left hemispheric infarction. Methods: Decompressive hemicraniectomy was performed in a 20-year old woman with space-occupying infarction of the speech dominant hemisphere. Complete anterior, middle and part of the posterior cerebral artery territories of the left hemisphere, as well as posterior regions of the right middle cerebral artery territory, were affected. Neuropsychological testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during speech perception were performed 10 months after stroke. Results: The patient was able to walk, go up and down stairs independently and perform simple tasks at home. She was also well able to match visually and orally presented words with their corresponding pictures, despite large bilateral lesions in the posterior regions. fMRI revealed strong activation of the left temporo-occipital and parieto-occipital areas. In the right hemisphere was observed a small area of activation in the posterior part of the superior and middle temporal gyrus. Conclusions: In aphasic patients, the activation of posterior bilateral associative areas might be used to support language perception. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd.
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Malignant middle cerebral artery infarction
- Neuropsychological assessment