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Corpus callosotomy (or less frequently, callotomy) is a surgical procedure that disconnects the cerebral hemispheres, resulting in a condition called split-brain.

Most modern callosotomies involve only the anterior portion of the corpus callosum, reflecting the fact that the frontal lobe and temporal lobe are the lobes of the brain most commonly involved in the genesis of seizures. The deficits from this modified procedure are milder; side-effects have not been found in some patients (although it is very unlikely that none exist).

The corpus callosum is usually severed in order to stop epileptic seizures. Once the corpus callosum is cut, the brain has much more difficulty sending messages between the hemispheres. Although the corpus callosum is the largest white matter tract connecting the hemispheres, some limited interhemispheric communication is still possible via the anterior commissure and posterior commissure. When tested in particular situations, it is obvious that information transfer between the hemispheres is reduced.

Further reading

  • Sauerwein, Hannelore C.; Lassonde, Maryse; Revol, Olivier; Cyr, Francine; Geoffroy, Guy; Mercier, Claude (15 December 2001). "Chapter 26 - Neuropsychological and Psycho-social Consequences of Corpus Callosotomy". in Jambaqué, Isabelle; Lassonde, Maryse; Dulac, Olivier. Neuropsychology of Childhood Epilepsy. Advances in Behavioral Biology Series. 50. New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 245-256. doi:10.1007/0-306-47612-6_26. ISBN 9780306465222. 
  • Maxwell, Robert E. (6 August 2009). "Chapter 162 - Corpus Callosotomy". in Lozano, Andres M.; Gildenberg, Philip L.; Tasker, Ronald R. Textbook of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (2nd ed.). Berlin: Springer‐Verlag. pp. 2723-2740. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-69960-6_162. ISBN 9783540699590. 
  • Roberts, David W. (17 August 2009). "Chapter 74 - Corpus Callosotomy". in Shorvon, Simon; Perucca, Emilio; Engel Jr, Jerome. The Treatment of Epilepsy (3rd ed.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 943-950. doi:10.1002/9781444316667.ch74. ISBN 9781405183833. 

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