Anterior Temporal Lobectomy, Hippocampal Sclerosis, and Memory: Recent Neuropsychological Findings

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Anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) is an effective and increasingly utilized treatment for nonlesional, intractable mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. However, this surgery results in domain-specific neuropsychological morbidity for a subset of patients. Within the past decade, multidisciplinary studies have revealed that left ATL patients without significant sclerosis in the resected hippocampus are most at risk for a substantial postacute decline in the ability to encode new verbal information. These patients are also at risk for a significant decrement in confrontation naming and other retrieval-based language abilities. The memory deficit is not attributable to this disruption of language. A relationship between hippocampal sclerosis (HS) status and memory performance has not been identified consistently in right ATL patients, but investigation of new visuospatial measures continues. The influence of variables other than HS on neuropsychological outcome is also discussed.

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