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Front Hum Neurosci. 2016 May 19;10:215. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00215. eCollection 2016.

The Left Fusiform Gyrus is a Critical Region Contributing to the Core Behavioral Profile of Semantic Dementia.

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State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University Beijing, China.
Department of Neurology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University Shanghai, China.
Department of Radiology, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University Shanghai, China.
Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing, China.


Given that extensive cerebral regions are co-atrophic in semantic dementia (SD), it is not yet known which critical regions (SD-semantic-critical regions) are really responsible for the semantic deficits of SD. To identify the SD-semantic-critical regions, we explored the relationship between the degree of cerebral atrophy in the whole brain and the severity of semantic deficits in 19 individuals with SD. We found that the gray matter volumes (GMVs) of two regions [left fusiform gyrus (lFFG) and left parahippocampal gyrus (lPHG)] significantly correlated with the semantic scores of patients with SD. Importantly, the effects of the lFFG remained significant after controlling for the GMVs of the lPHG. Moreover, the effects of the region could not be accounted for by the total GMV, general cognitive ability, laterality of brain atrophy, or control task performance. We further observed that each atrophic portion of the lFFG along the anterior-posterior axis might dedicate to the loss of semantic functions in SD. These results reveal that the lFFG could be a critical region contributing to the semantic deficits of SD.


co-atrophy; fusiform gyrus; lesion-behavior mapping; semantic deficits; semantic dementia

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