Language impairments and resting-state EEG in brain tumour patients: Revealing connections

Nienke Wolthuis


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    Intact language functions are crucial for everyday communication. A brain tumour can impair these functions. We studied language abilities and their relation to resting-state brain activity in low-grade brain tumour patients, in search for predictors of language outcome after surgery. The brain tumours in this thesis include gliomas, which originate in the brain, and meningiomas, which arise from the meninges. Glioma and meningioma patients underwent thorough language assessments and brain activity registrations by electroencephalography (EEG). Two aspects of brain activity were evaluated: slow-wave activity, concerning activity with a low frequency, and functional connectivity brain networks, reflecting the extent to which brain areas interact.
    It is concluded that low-grade gliomas can cause impairments in a variety of language abilities. Furthermore, meningiomas can induce language impairments (primarily in speech production and writing), despite that these tumours do not infiltrate brain tissue. Many glioma and meningioma patients are presented with language impairments 1 year after surgery, but there is large interpatient variation. Our findings underline the importance of extensive language testing before and after brain tumour surgery.
    With regard to the EEG analyses, the outcomes indicate that increased slow-wave activity and particular characteristics of the functional connectivity networks are associated with poorer language functioning before surgery in glioma patients, unlike in meningioma patients. Moreover, two predictors of language outcome after glioma surgery are identified. This line of research requires further investigation because it has the potential to improve clinical procedures, such as treatment planning, patient counselling, and language rehabilitation.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Bastiaanse, Roelien, Supervisor
    • Satoer, Djaina, Co-supervisor, Externe Persoon
    • Bosma, Ingeborg, Co-supervisor
    • Cherian, Perumpillichira J., Co-supervisor, Externe Persoon
    Datum van toekenning11-mrt-2021
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    StatusPublished - 2021

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