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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2011 Mar;82(3):309-16. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2010.204925. Epub 2010 Aug 27.

Structural brain changes following peripheral vestibulo-cochlear lesion may indicate multisensory compensation.

Author information

1
Neuroimage Nord & Department of Neurology, University Hospitals Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, Lübeck D-23538, Germany. christoph.helmchen@neuro.uni-luebeck.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Do central mechanisms account for the variability of clinical recovery following peripheral vestibulo-cochlear lesions?

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate structural (morphological) plasticity in the human brain following unilateral vestibulo-cochlear lesions which might contribute to central vestibular compensation.

METHODS:

The authors compared regional grey matter volume (GMV) changes in patients after surgical removal of unilateral acoustic neuroma with age-matched control subjects, and hypothesised morphometric changes in the vestibular and auditory cortices which may be related to functional disability scores. Patients were examined with a battery of neuro-otological tests and clinical scores to assess vestibular and auditory disability.

RESULTS:

Voxel-based morphometry was used for categorical comparison between patients and age- and gender-matched controls. GMV increase was found bilaterally in primary somatosensory cortices and motion-sensitive areas in the medial temporal gyrus (MT). Simple regression analysis revealed a GMV increase (1) in the contralesional superior temporal gyrus/posterior insula to be correlated with decreasing clinically assessed vestibular deficits; (2) in the contralesional inferior parietal lobe with decreasing functional impairment of daily living activities; and (3) in the contralesional auditory cortex (Heschl gyrus) with decreasing hearing impairment.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data may suggest structural cortical plasticity in multisensory vestibular cortex areas of patients with unilateral peripheral vestibulo-cochlear lesion after surgical removal of acoustic neuroma. As changes of GMV were related to vestibular function, structural brain changes may reflect central mechanisms of vestibular compensation.

PMID:
20802221
DOI:
10.1136/jnnp.2010.204925
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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