A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) system was used to photograph the brain of an 11-year-old, right-handed girl with uncontrollable seizures. The Epileptologist suspected the electrical problem in the patient’s brain was coming from the non-dominant right hemisphere in the middle of the temporal lobe, which is the right side of her brain.
While undergoing the fMRI, she completed a language test, showing that her ability to process language did not involve the right side of her brain, but the activity was controlled from the left side of the brain. This enabled the neurosurgeon to navigate and resect this area without difficulty. This patient, like many children with epilepsy, has multiple areas within the brain that process language. With the fMRI, the secondary area, highlighted in red, is found in the left-middle temporal gyrus, an area that helps with hearing and language area of the brain. Red and yellow are used to show areas of the brain that need more oxygen during a seizure. Blue and green are used to the areas that need less oxygen.