Written language is increasingly important, as contemporary society strongly relies on text-based communication. Nonetheless, in neurosurgical practice, language preservation has classically focused on spoken language. The current study aimed to evaluate the potential role of intra-operative assessments in the preservation of written language skills in glioma patients undergoing awake surgery. It is the first feasibility study to use a standardized and detailed Written language battery in glioma patients undergoing awakening surgery. Reading and spelling were assessed pre- and post-operatively in eleven patients. Intra-operatively, 7 cases underwent written language assessment in addition to spoken object naming. Results show that reading and spelling deficits may arise before and after glioma surgery and that written language may be differently affected than spoken language. In our case series, task-specific preservation of function was obtained in all cases when a specific written language skill was monitored intra-operatively. However, the benefits of intra-operative testing did not always generalize, and non-monitored written language tasks may not be preserved. Hence, when a specific written language skill needs to be preserved, to facilitate return to work and maintain quality of life, results indicate that intra-operative assessment of that skill is advised. An illustrative case report demonstrates how profile analyses can be used pre-operatively to identify cognitive components at risk and intra-operatively to preserve written language abilities in clinical practice.
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Gabriele Miceli | October 16, 2023
Wiley: Journal of Neuropsychology: Table of Contents