Localization and characterization of speech arrest during transcranial magnetic stimulation CLINICAL NEUROPHYSIOLOGY Epstein, C. M., Meador, K. J., Loring, D. W., Wright, R. J., Weissman, J. D., Sheppard, S., Lah, J. J., Puhalovich, F., Gaitan, L., Davey, K. R. 1999; 110 (6): 1073-1079


To determine the anatomic and physiologic localization of speech arrest induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and to examine the relationship of speech arrest to language function.Ten normal, right-handed volunteers were tested in a battery of language tasks during rTMS. Four underwent mapping of speech arrest on a 1 cm grid over the left frontal region. Compound motor action potentials from the right face and hand were mapped onto the same grid. Mean positions for speech arrest and muscle activation were identified in two subjects on 3-dimensional MRI.All subjects had lateralized arrest of spontaneous speech and reading aloud during rTMS over the left posterior-inferior frontal region. Writing, comprehension, repetition, naming, oral praxis, and singing were relatively spared (P < .05). Stimulation on the right during singing abolished melody in two subjects, but minimally affected speech production. The area of speech arrest overlay the caudal portion of the left precentral gyrus, congruous with the region where stimulation produced movement of the right face.The site of magnetic speech arrest appears to be the facial motor cortex. Its characteristics differ from those of classic aphasias, and include a prominent dissociation among different types of speech output.

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