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Neuropsychological Patterns Following Lesions of the Anterior Insula in a Series of Forty Neurosurgical Patients

1 IRCCS “E. Medea”, San Vito al Tagliamento (PN), (37038), Italy;
2 Fisica medica A.O.S. Maria della Misericordia, Udine, (33100), Italy;
3 Unità Operativa di Neurochirurgia, A.O.S. Maria della Misericordia, Udine, (33100), Italy;
4 Cognitive Neuroscience Sector, SISSA, Trieste, (34136), Italy

Special Issues: What function does the anterior insula play in human cognition?

In the present study we investigated the effects of lesions affecting mainly the anterior insula in a series of 22 patients with lesions in the left hemisphere (LH), and 18 patients with lesions involving the right hemisphere (RH). The site of the lesion was established by performing an overlap of the probabilistic cytoarchitectonic maps of the posterior insula. Here we report the patients’ neuropsychological profile and an analysis of their pre-surgical symptoms. We found that pre-operatory symptoms significantly differed in patients depending on whether the lesion affected the right or left insula and a strict parallelism between the patterns emerged in the pre-surgery symptoms analysis, and the patients’ cognitive profile. In particular, we found that LH patients showed cognitive deficits. By contrast, the RH patients, with the exception of one case showing an impaired performance at the visuo-spatial planning test were within the normal range in performing all the tests. In addition, a sub-group of patients underwent to the post-surgery follow-up examination.
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Copyright Info: © 2014, Barbara Tomasino, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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