Neuropediatrics 2013; 44(05): 286-290
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1341600
Short Communication
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Language Comprehension in Young People with Severe Cerebral Palsy in Relation to Language Tracts: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study

Laurike Harlaar
1  Department of Child Neurology, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
,
Petra J. Pouwels
2  Department of Physics and Medical Technology, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
,
Joke Geytenbeek
3  Department of Rehabilitation, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
,
Kim Oostrom
4  Department of Medical Psychology, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
,
Frederik Barkhof
5  Department of Radiology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
,
R. Jeroen Vermeulen
1  Department of Child Neurology, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

10 May 2012

11 February 2013

Publication Date:
06 April 2013 (online)

Abstract

Patients with severe cerebral palsy (CP) often have poor speech ability but potentially better language comprehension. The arcuate fasciculus and the extreme capsule are two important language tracts between the Wernicke and Broca areas. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we visualized language tracts and pyramidal tracts in both hemispheres in 10 controls (5 to 18 years) and 5 patients (5 to 23 years) with severe CP. Language comprehension was assessed with a recently designed instrument (the Computer-Based instrument for Low motor Language Testing [C-BiLLT]). The language tracts were visualized in all control children and in four CP patients. In one CP patient without any objective language comprehension skills, no language tract could be visualized. Both language and pyramidal tracts were smaller in patients than in controls. These preliminary data indicate a relation between language tracts and language skills. Further research is necessary to study the value of structural integrity of language tracts in predicting language comprehension in CP patients.