A systematic review of the use of subcortical intraoperative electrical stimulation mapping for monitoring of executive deficits and neglect: What is the evidence so far?

Maud Landers*, Margriet Sitskoorn, Geert-Jan Rutten, Emmanuel Mandonnet, Wouter De Baene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background:
Over the past decade, the functional importance of white matter pathways has been increasingly acknowledged in neurosurgical planning. A method to directly study anatomo-functional correlations is direct electrical stimulation (DES). DES has been widely accepted by neurosurgeons as a reliable tool to minimize the occurrence of permanent postoperative motor, vision and language deficits. In recent years, DES has also been used for stimulation mapping of other cognitive functions, such as executive functions and visuospatial awareness.

Methods:
The aim of this review is to summarize the evidence so far from DES studies on subcortical pathways that are involved in visuospatial awareness and in the following three executive functions: (1) inhibitory control, (2) working memory and (3) cognitive flexibility.

Results:
Eleven articles reported on intraoperative electrical stimulation of white matter pathways to map the cognitive functions and explicitly clarified which subcortical tract was stimulated. The results indicate that the right SLF-II is involved in visuospatial awareness, the left SLF-III and possibly the right SLF-I are involved in working memory and the cingulum is involved in cognitive flexibility.

Conclusions:
We were unable to draw any more specific conclusions, nor unequivocally establish the critical involvement of pathways in executive functions or visuospatial awareness due to the heterogeneity of the study types and methods, and the limited number of studies that assessed these relationships. Possible approaches for future research to obtain converging and more definite evidence for the involvement of pathways in specific cognitive functions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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