Background: A glioma leads to a global loss of functional connectivity among multiple regions. However, the relationships between performance/activation changes and functional connectivity remain unclear. Our previous studies (Brain 137:1193–1212; Brain Lang 110:71–80) have shown that a glioma in the left lateral premotor cortex or the opercular/triangular parts of the left inferior frontal gyrus causes agrammatic comprehension accompanied by abnormal activations in 14 syntax-related regions. We have also confirmed that a glioma in the other left frontal regions does not affect task performances and activation patterns. Results: By a partial correlation method for the time-series functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we analyzed the functional connectivity in 21 patients with a left frontal glioma. We observed that almost all of the functional connectivity exhibited chaotic changes in the agrammatic patients. In contrast, some functional connectivity was preserved in an orderly manner in the patients who showed normal performances and activation patterns. More specifically, these latter patients showed normal connectivity between the left fronto-parietal regions, as well as normal connectivity between the left triangular and orbital parts of the left inferior frontal gyrus. Conclusions: Our results indicate that these pathways are most crucial among the syntax-related networks. Both data from the activation patterns and functional connectivity, which are different in temporal domains, should thus be combined to assess any behavioral deficits associated with brain abnormalities.
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