Brodmann Area 12: A Brief Overview of the Literature

A search for articles on Brodmann Area 12 was undertaken in Medline using the search terms “Brodmann Area 12”. Whilst at the time of writing, this search retrieved 97 results I could find only 4 papers of relevance suggesting that Brodmann Area 12 is a relatively under-researched area or that the search was not sufficiently sensitive to pick up relevant papers. However although the search was relatively simple, for other Brodmann Areas this simple search strategy has resulted in a much larger number of relevant articles suggesting that the populations of papers that are being selected from are disproportionately smaller in the case of Brodmann Area 12. I note that the search often returned abstracts referring to other Brodmann Areas but where the number 12 had been used elsewhere (e.g the number of subjects) distracting from the search query.

Turning to the retrieved papers the authors of this paper look back at Brodmann’s 1909 paper and find that he didn’t identify Brodmann Area 12 although he did in later works. The authors also note that Brodmann Area 12 is believed to play an important role in Frontotemporal Dementia. The theme is reiterated in this paper where the author comments on the function of the Brodmann Area classificiation.  In one study grey matter loss was found in areas including Brodmann Area 12 in those with ‘pathological sweet tooth’ and Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration compared with a group of healthy controls. In another study, Neuropeptide Y-like immunoreactivity (NPYLI) was found to be increased in Brodmann Area 12 and a number of other areas in people who had been diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease.

In summary, a search for papers on Brodmann Area 12 returns relatively few papers suggesting either that this area does not have a physiologically significant function or that it does but the focus for research has been on other areas although the reasons for this are unclear.

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