Cortical Plasticity in the Setting of Brain Tumors

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Cortical reorganization of function due to the growth of an adjacent brain tumor has clearly been demonstrated in a number of surgically proven cases. Such cases demonstrate the unmistakable implications for the neurosurgical treatment of brain tumors, as the cortical function may not reside where one may initially suspect based solely on the anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Consequently, preoperative localization of eloquent areas adjacent to a brain tumor is necessary, as this may demonstrate unexpected organization, which may affect the neurosurgical approach to the lesion. However, in interpreting functional MRI studies, the interpreting physician must be cognizant of artifacts, which may limit the accuracy of functional MRI in the setting of brain tumors.

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