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Phonetic processing following left hemispherectomy in children over five years of age
Boatman_D, Freeman_J, Vining_E, Alas_A, Gordon_B
Johns Hopkins Univ,Sch Med,Dept Neurol,Baltimore,Md,21218
Brain and Language, 1997, Vol.60, No.1, Pp.144-146

Methods. Subjects: Six patients, three male and three female, were referred for left hemispherectomies following the diagnosis of Rasmussen’s Encephalitis. Based on pediatric and parent reports, birth history and development were normal for all six patients up until at least 5 years of age. Mean age of seizure onset was 8.2 years (range: 5.5–10.5 years). Patients were 7.3– 13.3 years old at surgery.

Three months postsurgery: Five of the six patients were tested 3 months postsurgery and discriminated with 100% accuracy. Auditory comprehen-sion on the Token test was greater than 85% correct (100% for 2 patients). Naming was 80% and repetition was 100% correct in all five cases.

Discussion. By three weeks postsurgery, all six patients discriminated syl-lables with 100% accuracy, suggesting that the RH can support phonetic processing even after language lateralization is complete. Moreover, evi-dence of intact phonetic processing as early as day 4 postsurgery further indicates that this ability may be bilaterally represented in the brain.


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