Insular and caudate lesions release abnormal yawning in stroke patients.

Krestel, Heinz E.; Weisstanner, Christian; Hess, Christian W.; Bassetti, Claudio L.; Nirkko, Arto C.; Wiest, Roland (2013). Insular and caudate lesions release abnormal yawning in stroke patients. Brain structure & function, 220(2), pp. 803-812. Springer 10.1007/s00429-013-0684-6

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Abnormal yawning is an underappreciated phenomenon in patients with ischemic stroke. We aimed at identifying frequently affected core regions in the supratentorial brain of stroke patients with abnormal yawning and contributing to the anatomical network concept of yawning control. Ten patients with acute anterior circulation stroke and ≥3 yawns/15 min without obvious cause were analyzed. The NIH stroke scale (NIHSS), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), symptom onset, period with abnormal yawning, blood oxygen saturation, glucose, body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and modified Rankin scale (mRS) were assessed for all patients. MRI lesion maps were segmented on diffusion-weighted images, spatially normalized, and the extent of overlap between the different stroke patterns was determined. Correlations between the period with abnormal yawning and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in the overlapping regions, total stroke volume, NIHSS and mRS were performed. Periods in which patients presented with episodes of abnormal yawning lasted on average for 58 h. Average GCS, NIHSS, and mRS scores were 12.6, 11.6, and 3.5, respectively. Clinical parameters were within normal limits. Ischemic brain lesions overlapped in nine out of ten patients: in seven patients in the insula and in seven in the caudate nucleus. The decrease of the ADC within the lesions correlated with the period with abnormal yawing (r = -0.76, Bonferroni-corrected p = 0.02). The stroke lesion intensity of the common overlapping regions in the insula and the caudate nucleus correlates with the period with abnormal yawning. The insula might be the long sought-after brain region for serotonin-mediated yawning.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Krestel, Heinz Eric, Weisstanner, Christian, Hess, Christian Walter, Bassetti, Claudio L.A., Nirkko, Arto Christian, Wiest, Roland Gerhard Rudi


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

02 Jun 2014 17:22

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:24

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