Predominance of caudate nucleus lesions in acute ischemic stroke patients with impairments in language and speech

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Background and purpose. Whereas traditional views of language processing in the brain have assumed that the language function is concentrated to a limited number of cortical areas (Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas), current knowledge points at a much more complex system of language and speech processing involving many brain areas, both cortical and subcortical. The purpose of the current study was to make an unbiased assessment of which cerebral areas are affected in first-ever acute ischemic stroke patients identified as having language and speech impairments according to the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS).
Methods. Data from thirty-four patients with language and speech impairments, with a score of 1-3 on item 9 on the NIHSS, following ischemic stroke was collected from the Lund Stroke Register. MRI images acquired up to 20 days after stroke onset were used to create an overlap lesion image using MRIcron software.
Results. The classical language areas, Wernicke’s and Broca’s area, were affected in less than one fourth of the patients. The most frequently affected region was a subcortical region - the left caudate nucleus and the adjacent corona radiata.
Conclusions. These findings contribute to the growing body of evidence that the basal ganglia have a crucial role in the control over language and speech processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-153
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Article first published online: 12 AUG 2015.

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Diagnostic Radiology, (Lund) (013038000), Neurology, Lund (013027000), Clinical Strike Research Group (013027200), Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
  • Neurology

Free keywords

  • caudate nucleus
  • stroke
  • speech
  • language
  • MRI
  • basal ganglia


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