How the interactions between cortices through a specific white matter pathway change during cognitive processing in patients with epilepsy remains unclear. Here, we used surface-based structural connectivity analysis to examine the change in structural connectivity with Broca's area/the right Broca's homologue in the lateral temporal and inferior parietal cortices through the arcuate fasciculus (AF) in 17 patients with left temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) compared with 17 healthy controls. Then, we investigated its functional relevance to the changes in task-related responses and task-modulated functional connectivity with Broca's area/the right Broca's homologue during a semantic classification task of a single word. The structural connectivity through the AF pathway and task-modulated functional connectivity with Broca's area decreased in the left midtemporal cortex. Furthermore, task-related response decreased in the left mid temporal cortex that overlapped with the region showing a decrease in the structural connectivity. In contrast, the region showing an increase in the structural connectivity through the AF overlapped with the regions showing an increase in task-modulated functional connectivity in the left inferior parietal cortex. These structural and functional changes in the overlapping regions were correlated. The results suggest that the change in the structural connectivity through the left frontal-temporal AF pathway underlies the altered functional networks between the frontal and temporal cortices during the language-related processing in patients with left TLE. The left frontal-parietal AF pathway might be employed to connect anterior and posterior brain regions during language processing and compensate for the compromised left frontal-temporal AF pathway. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4425-4438, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Keywords: Broca's area; Freesurfer; MRI; function; language; psychophysiological interaction; reorganization; semantic; structure; tractography.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.