Memory Rehabilitation Strategies in Nonsurgical Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: A Review

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People with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) who have not undergone epilepsy surgery often complain of memory deficits. Cognitive rehabilitation is employed as a remedial intervention in clinical settings, but research is limited and findings concerning efficacy and the criteria for choosing different approaches have been inconsistent. We aimed to appraise existing evidence on memory rehabilitation in nonsurgical individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy and to ascertain the effectiveness of specific strategies. A scoping review was preferred given the heterogeneous nature of the interventions. A comprehensive literature search using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, Scholars Portal/PSYCHinfo, Proceedings First, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses identified articles published in English before February 2016. The search retrieved 372 abstracts. Of 25 eligible studies, six were included in the final review. None included pediatric populations. Strategies included cognitive training, external memory aids, brain training, and noninvasive brain stimulation. Selection criteria tended to be general. Overall, there was insufficient evidence to make definitive conclusions regarding the efficacy of traditional memory rehabilitation strategies, brain training, and noninvasive brain stimulation. The review suggests that cognitive rehabilitation in nonsurgical TLE is underresearched and that there is a need for a systematic evaluation in this population.

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