Declarative Memory Following Anterior Temporal Lobectomy in Humans

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This study hypothesized that verbal memory decline following anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) is associated with a lack of significant neuropathology in resected left, but not right, hippocampus and is limited to measures of episodic memory only. Tests of immediate (digit span), semantic (visual naming), and episodic memory as measured by the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) were administered before and 6 months after resection of the anterior left (n = 36) or right (n = 26) temporal lobe. There were no effects of hippocampal pathology on measures of immediate or semantic memory for either ATL group or for episodic memory for the right ATL group. Left ATL patients who demonstrated no/mild hippocampal sclerosis exhibited significantly greater postoperative decline in episodic memory compared with those with moderate/marked hippocampal sclerosis on multiple CVLT indices (recall measures, learning characteristics, and contrast measures).

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