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December 1977

Posttraumatic Cerebral Hemispheric Disconnection Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis (Drs Rubens, Mahowald, and Mastri), and the Neurological Unit, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston (Dr Geschwind).

Arch Neurol. 1977;34(12):750-755. doi:10.1001/archneur.1977.00500240038006

• Gross and microscopic lesions of the corpus callosum and neighboring structures are common in severe closed head injury. This report is the first, to our knowledge, to confirm neuropathologically the occurrence of extensive traumatic destruction of the corpus callosum in a patient with left-sided apraxia and agraphia. It also demonstrates that large traumatic lesions of the corpus callosum may occur without prolonged posttraumatic coma, vegetative state, or death. In our patient, coexisting extracallosal hemispheric lesions may have modified the effects of callosal pathology. Cases of this type may be more common than generally appreciated, but since symptoms of hemispheric disconnection are not apparent in ordinary behavior, specific tests of callosal function must be employed if disconnection phenomena are to be detected in the posttraumatic period.

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