AUTHORS: Orepic P, Iannotti GR, Haemmerli J, Goga C, Park HD, Betka S, Blanke O, Michel CM, Bondolfi G, Schaller K.

Cortex, 168: 157-166, August 2023


Personality changes following neurosurgical procedures remain poorly understood and pose a major concern for patients, rendering a strong need for predictive biomarkers. Here we report a case of a female patient in her 40s who underwent resection of a large sagittal sinus meningioma with bilateral extension, including resection and ligation of the superior sagittal sinus, that resulted in borderline personality disorder. Importantly, we captured clinically-observed personality changes in a series of experiments assessing self-other voice discrimination, one of the experimental markers for self-consciousness. In all experiments, the patient consistently confused self- and other voices – i.e., she misattributed other-voice stimuli to herself and self-voice stimuli to others. Moreover, the electroencephalogram (EEG) microstate, that was in healthy participants observed when hearing their own voice, in this patient occurred for other-voice stimuli. We hypothesize that the patient’s personality alterations resulted from a gradual development of a venous collateral hemodynamic network that impacted venous drainage of brain areas associated with self-consciousness. In addition, resection and ligation of the superior sagittal sinus significantly aggravated personality alterations through postoperative decompensation of a direct frontal lobe compression. Experimentally mirroring clinical observations, these findings are of high relevance for developing biomarkers of post-surgical personality alterations.

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