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Book Reviews and Other Media
June 2001

Localization of Brain Lesions and Developmental Functions: Mariani Foundation Pediatric Neurology Series: Vol 9

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edited by Daria Riva and Arthur Benton, 165 pp, ISBN 0-86196-599-X, John Libbey & Co, Eastleigh, England, 2000.


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(6):742. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.6.742

This long-awaited book is one in a series that addresses various pediatric neurology issues. This book deals with localization of developmental functions in healthy children as well as in those with pathologic conditions. Until recently, these issues were controversial, and inferences were made to brain functions in the developing brain based on adult literature.

This book consists of 14 chapters and an index. Each chapter begins with a short summary of the most important anatomical, physiological, and clinical studies, and ends with pertinent references; some contain a consensus statement on a given subject. Although the concept of cerebral localization is an old one, it has greatly evolved, especially with the application of brain neuroimaging, including functional magnetic resonance imaging. Only recently has it been accepted that the specialization of the brain areas processing specific functions such as language and memory occurs at an early stage of development, and therefore, the earliest lesion may cause a highly specific deficit. The editors discuss the organization of various functions not only in the developing brain, but also in the pathological state such as absence of corpus callosum and callosal agenesis both congenital and acquired. Two chapters that are devoted to language address language development in children developing normally as well as in children with focal brain injury. These early language development studies in children with focal brain injury indicate that language acquisition is delayed regardless of the site of the lesion, but language development continues, and eventually those children will perform within normal range. Hence, the terms neuroplasticity or flexibility are used to describe the developing brain.

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