A noninvasive, presurgical expressive and receptive language investigation in a 9-year-old epileptic boy using near-infrared spectroscopy

Anne Gallagher, Danielle Bastien, Isabelle Pelletier, Phetsamone Vannasing, Alan D. Legatt, Solomon L. Moshé, Rana Jehle, Lionel Carmant, Franco Lepore, Renée Béland, Maryse Lassonde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


The intracarotid amobarbital test (IAT) is used for presurgical evaluation of language lateralization. However, this procedure has many limitations, especially in children. As an alternative to IAT, in the case described here, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to investigate expressive and receptive language lateralization as part of the presurgical evaluation of a 9-year-old Yiddish-speaking boy with a probable left temporal epileptic focus. This child could not tolerate IAT or functional MRI. He underwent two NIRS recording sessions while performing expressive and receptive language tasks. Results indicated predominantly left-sided expressive language in Broca's area with ipsilateral cortical recruitment of more posterior regions. Receptive language showed a bilateral cerebral pattern, perhaps as an expression of cerebral plasticity or compensation in this young patient. This case report illustrates that NIRS may contribute to presurgical investigation and could become a noninvasive alternative to IAT and functional MRI in determining speech lateralization in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-346
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008



  • Brain mapping
  • Children
  • Cortical functional localization
  • Epilepsy
  • Intracarotid amobarbital test
  • Optical imaging
  • Speech lateralization
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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