Junior-Real Time neuropsychological testing (j-RTNT) for a young patient undergoing awake craniotomy

Ilaria Guarracino, Tamara Ius, Giada Pauletto, Marta Maieron, Miran Skrap, Barbara Tomasino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We developed a junior-real-time neuropsychological testing (j-RTNT) and used it during surgery of a right fronto-insular dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor causing seizures in a 16 years old female. The j-RTNT included tasks from the battery NEPSY-II. Pre-surgery evaluation detected a below average performance in visuo-spatial planning, inhibition, visual attention, planning and borderline performance in speeded naming. The j-RTNT allows detecting sudden decreases that could be caused by resection. During surgery, ECoG was characterized by slow sharp activity and spikes on the electrodes exploring the right fronto-polar region. After the resection, spikes were not detected anymore. Immediate post-surgery performance resulted within the normal range, remained below average in visuo-spatial planning, and improved in inhibition, switching and in speeded naming. Follow-up revealed cognitive recovery. Neurological assessment was unremarkable and the patient was seizure free. No epileptic activity could be observed on follow-up EEG. fMRI data showed that in the follow-up vs. pre-surgery there was a higher recruitment of the right superior frontal gyrus, a region involved in the cognitive execution and cognitive control networks. The j-RTNT is feasible with young patients, goes beyond the testing of limited functions, assessing multiple times during resection several different functions to better monitoring the effects of resection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105535
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Awake surgery
  • Children
  • Cognition
  • Epilepsy
  • RTNT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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