‘Moderate global aphasia’: A generalized decline of language processing caused by glioma surgery but not stroke
Unlike stroke, neurosurgical removal of left-hemisphere gliomas acts upon a reorganized language network and involves brain areas rarely damaged by stroke. We addressed whether this causes the profiles of neurosurgeryand stroke-induced language impairments to be distinct. K-means clustering of language assessment data (neurosurgery cohort: N = 88, stroke cohort: N = 95) identified similar profiles in both cohorts. But critically, a cluster of individuals with specific phonological deficits was only evident in the stroke but not in the neurosurgery cohort. Thus, phonological deficits are less clearly distinguished from other language deficits after glioma surgery compared to stroke. Furthermore, the correlations between language production and comprehension scores at different linguistic levels were more extensive in the neurosurgery than in the stroke cohort. Our findings suggest that neurosurgery-induced language impairments do not correspond to those caused by stroke, but rather manifest as a ‘moderate global aphasia’ – a generalized decline of language processing abilities.