Power and connectivity changes on electroencephalogram in postoperative cerebellar mutism



      Cerebellar mutism syndrome is a debilitating postoperative neurological complication following posterior fossa surgery in children. It is characterized by a significant lack or loss of speech. Injury to the dentato-thalamo-cortical pathway is thought to be the main anatomical substrate of cerebellar mutism syndrome; however, few studies have investigated the physiological changes using computed electroencephalogram.

      Case report

      Herein, we report a case of a nine-year-old girl who developed cerebellar mutism syndrome after excision of an ependymoma of the fourth ventricle and was followed up with evaluation of aphasia, gross motor function, and scalp electroencephalograms. Her language, dysmetria and gait ataxia gradually improved until day 605 after onset. Computed electroencephalogram analyses were performed for the relative power spectrum and connectivity at each frequency band. On the three electroencephalograms at days 109, 299, and 605 after onset, the relative power spectrum at the delta band transiently decreased and then increased, and the relative power spectrums at theta, beta, and gamma bands transiently increased and then decreased. Only the relative power spectrum in the alpha band continuously increased in the occipital area. Additionally, brain connectivity in the delta, beta, and gamma bands increased continuously.


      We report a case of cerebellar mutism syndrome with recovery of language, dysmetria and gait ataxia in 20 months. Electroencephalogram analyses indicated transient changes in the powers of brain activity and continuous improvements in connectivity during the long follow-up, reflecting the plasticity and remodeling of brain function after cerebellar mutism syndrome. Power and connectivity analyses for EEG might be a tool to investigate underlying pathophysiology of cerebellar mutism syndrome.



      CMS (cerebellar mutism syndrome), DTCP (dentate-thalamo-cortical pathway), TBI (traumatic brain injury), FLAIR (fluid-attenuated inversion recovery), SLTA (Standard Language Test of Aphasia), GMFM (gross motor function measure), PS (power spectra), PLI (phase lag index)
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