Aphasia and a Dual-Stream Language Model in a 4-Year-Old Female with Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

This article was originally published here

Neuropediatrics. 2021 Dec 1. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1733983. Online ahead of print.


Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by acquired aphasia. LKS presents with distinctive electroencephalography (EEG) findings, including diffuse continuous spike and wave complexes (CSW), particularly during sleep. There has been little research on the mechanisms of aphasia and its origin within the brain and how it recovers. We diagnosed LKS in a 4-year-old female with an epileptogenic zone located primarily in the right superior temporal gyrus or STG (nondominant side). In the course of her illness, she had early signs of motor aphasia recovery but was slow to regain language comprehension and recover from hearing loss. We suggest that the findings from our patient’s brain imaging and the disparity between her recovery from expressive and receptive aphasias are consistent with the dual-stream model of speech processing in which the nondominant hemisphere also plays a significant role in language comprehension. Unlike aphasia in adults, the right-hemisphere disorder has been reported to cause delays in language comprehension and gestures in early childhood. In the period of language acquisition, it requires a process of understanding what the words mean by integrating and understanding the visual, auditory, and contextual information. It is thought that the right hemisphere works predominantly with respect to its integrating role.

PMID:34852374 | DOI:10.1055/s-0041-1733983