Right inferior frontal gyrus activation is associated with memory improvement in patients with left frontal low-grade glioma resection

Miotto, E.C.; Balardin, J.B.; Vieira, G.; Sato, J.R.; Martin, M.da.Graça.M.; Scaff, M.; Teixeira, M.J.; Junior, E.Amaro.

Plos one 9(8): E105987

2014


ISSN/ISBN: 1932-6203
PMID: 25157573
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105987
Accession: 055574627

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Abstract
Patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) have been studied as a model of functional brain reorganization due to their slow-growing nature. However, there is no information regarding which brain areas are involved during verbal memory encoding after extensive left frontal LGG resection. In addition, it remains unknown whether these patients can improve their memory performance after instructions to apply efficient strategies. The neural correlates of verbal memory encoding were investigated in patients who had undergone extensive left frontal lobe (LFL) LGG resections and healthy controls using fMRI both before and after directed instructions were given for semantic organizational strategies. Participants were scanned during the encoding of word lists under three different conditions before and after a brief period of practice. The conditions included semantically unrelated (UR), related-non-structured (RNS), and related-structured words (RS), allowing for different levels of semantic organization. All participants improved on memory recall and semantic strategy application after the instructions for the RNS condition. Healthy subjects showed increased activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and middle frontal gyrus (MFG) during encoding for the RNS condition after the instructions. Patients with LFL excisions demonstrated increased activation in the right IFG for the RNS condition after instructions were given for the semantic strategies. Despite extensive damage in relevant areas that support verbal memory encoding and semantic strategy applications, patients that had undergone resections for LFL tumor could recruit the right-sided contralateral homologous areas after instructions were given and semantic strategies were practiced. These results provide insights into changes in brain activation areas typically implicated in verbal memory encoding and semantic processing.