Brain organization of motor and language functions following hemispherectomy: a [(15)O]-water positron emission tomography study

J Child Neurol. 1998 Jan;13(1):16-22. doi: 10.1177/088307389801300103.


The capacity of the developing brain for compensatory reorganization after early hemispherectomy has been previously shown in neurobehavioral studies, above all with regard to language recovery. The present study examines the organization of motor and language areas by means of [(15)O]-water positron emission tomography (PET) in a 6-year-old boy who underwent right functional hemispherectomy at age 3 years. The results suggest that compensatory allocation for movement of the weak hand primarily involves the premotor, inferior frontal, and insular cortices, and the supplementary motor area in the retained hemisphere, as well as the bilateral cerebellum. Receptive language and prosodic functions primarily activated the left perisylvian cortices. However, language and motor activations were also seen in cortical and subcortical remains on the hemispherectomized side suggesting incomplete disconnection by functional hemispherectomy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / surgery
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Encephalitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Encephalitis / surgery
  • Epilepsy / diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsy / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Oxygen Radioisotopes
  • Psychosurgery*
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Oxygen Radioisotopes