Motor and language deficits before and after surgical resection of mesial frontal tumour.


  • Chainay Hanna
  • Francois-Xaxier Alario
  • Alexandre Krainik
  • Hugues Duffau
  • Capelle Laurent
  • Emmanuelle Volle
  • Laurent Cohen
  • Stephane Lehéricy

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OBJECTIVE: The goal of the present study was to better characterize pre- and immediately post-surgical motor and language deficits resulting from the surgery of tumours located in the medial part of the frontal lobe. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seven patients treated by surgical resection of low-grade gliomas affecting the medial part of the frontal lobe were studied with neuropsychological tasks investigating motor and language abilities before surgery and at three time points after surgery (first, third and seventh day after surgery). The tasks were constructed in a way that allowed the structured comparison between language and motor functions, and controlled the level of external constraint of the production. RESULTS: The main results of this study are: (1) globally the patients were impaired in both language and motor production the day after surgery; (2) the performance improved faster for tasks with strongly constrained production; (3) the verbal and semantic fluency were very sensitive and appropriate tasks for examination of the deficits resulting from the resection; and (4) performances were back to normal seven days after the surgery for most of the tasks. CONCLUSION: These results confirm that surgery of low-grade gliomas affecting the prefrontal midline areas affects only transiently motor and language functions as tested in this study. They also suggest that verbal and semantic fluency were the most severely affected tests postoperatively. On the basis of these results, the surgical resection of the low-grade gliomas of the prefrontal midline seems a valuable treatment alternative.

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