Last year was the 150th anniversary of Paul Broca's landmark case report on speech disorder that paved the way for subsequent studies of cortical localization of higher cognitive functions. However, many complex functions rely on the activity of distributed networks rather than single cortical areas. Hence, it is important to understand how brain regions are linked within large-scale networks and to map lesions onto connecting white matter tracts. To facilitate this network approach we provide a synopsis of classical neurological syndromes associated with frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal and limbic lesions. A review of tractography studies in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders is also included. The synopsis is accompanied by a new atlas of the human white matter connections based on diffusion tensor tractography freely downloadable on http://www.natbrainlab.com. Clinicians can use the maps to accurately identify the tract affected by lesions visible on conventional CT or MRI. The atlas will also assist researchers to interpret their group analysis results. We hope that the synopsis and the atlas by allowing a precise localization of white matter lesions and associated symptoms will facilitate future work on the functional correlates of human neural networks as derived from the study of clinical populations. Our goal is to stimulate clinicians to develop a critical approach to clinico-anatomical correlative studies and broaden their view of clinical anatomy beyond the cortical surface in order to encompass the dysfunction related to connecting pathways.
- Brain Mapping
- Diffusion Tensor Imaging
- Neural Pathways
- Image Processing, Computer-Assisted