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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59657. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059657. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Group independent component analysis and functional MRI examination of changes in language areas associated with brain tumors at different locations.

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  • 1Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.



This study investigates the effect of tumor location on alterations of language network by brain tumors at different locations using blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) fMRI and group independent component analysis (ICA).


BOLD fMRI data were obtained from 43 right handed brain tumor patients. Presurgical mapping of language areas was performed on all 43 patients with a picture naming task. All data were retrospectively analyzed using group ICA. Patents were divided into three groups based on tumor locations, i.e., left frontal region, left temporal region or right hemisphere. Laterality index (LI) was used to assess language lateralization in each group.


The results from BOLD fMRI and ICA revealed the different language activation patterns in patients with brain tumors located in different brain regions. Language areas, such as Broca's and Wernicke's areas, were intact in patients with tumors in the right hemisphere. Significant functional changes were observed in patients with tumor in the left frontal and temporal areas. More specifically, the tumors in the left frontal region affect both Broca's and Wernicke's areas, while tumors in the left temporal lobe affect mainly Wernicke's area. The compensated activation increase was observed in the right frontal areas in patients with left hemisphere tumors.


Group ICA provides a model free alternative approach for mapping functional networks in brain tumor patients. Altered language activation by different tumor locations suggested reorganization of language functions in brain tumor patients and may help better understanding of the language plasticity.

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