Normalized perfusion MRI to identify common areas of dysfunction: Patients with basal ganglia neglect

Hans-Otto Karnath, Regine Zopf, Leif Johannsen, Monika Fruhmann Berger, Thomas Nägele, Uwe Klose

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Perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI) is used to identify brain regions that are receiving enough blood supply to remain structurally intact, but not enough to function normally. Previous observations suggest that spatial neglect due to subcortical stroke can be explained by dysfunction of cortical areas rather than through the neuronal loss in the subcortical structures itself. The present study aimed to identify the dysfunctional cortical regions induced by basal ganglia stroke in patients with spatial neglect. In a patient group with stroke lesions centring on the basal ganglia, we examined the common area(s) of structurally intact but dysfunctional cortical tissue by using spatial normalization of PWI maps as well as symmetric voxel-wise inter-hemispheric comparisons. These new techniques allow comparison of the structurally intact but abnormally perfused areas of different individuals in the same stereotaxic space, and at the same time avoid problems due to regional perfusion differences and to possible observer-dependent biases. We found that strokes centring on the right basal ganglia which provoke spatial neglect induce abnormal perfusion in a circumscribed area of intact cortex that typically involves those three regions that have previously been described to provoke spatial neglect when damaged directly by cortical infarction: the superior temporal gyrus, the inferior parietal lobule and the inferior frontal gyrus. The data suggest that spatial neglect following a right basal ganglia lesion typically is caused by the dysfunction of (part of) these specific cortical areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2462-2469
Number of pages8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Basal ganglia
  • Exploration
  • Human
  • Perfusion-weighted imaging
  • Spatial neglect
  • Visual search

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