Oct. 14, 2004 Epilepsia, the official publication of the International League Against Epilepsy, recently published a one-year follow-up study that finds some post-surgical epilepsy patients have a significant decline in verbal memory. This type of memory loss is associated with learning, recall and recognition.
Three months after surgery, patients with surgery performed on either the left or right brain tissue showed signs of verbal memory loss. Initially, the resulting loss of memory was thought to be a possible effect of the trauma of surgery. However, 12 months later 30% -50% of those patients who experienced surgery to the left temporal lobe showed no recovery of verbal memory, while patients who had surgery on the right side of their brain regained their memory. The results indicate that the decline observed in a small portion of patients who had surgery on the right side of their brains was temporary and most likely the effects of complications in surgery. Verbal memory loss mainly affects those patients whose surgery was performed on the left side of the brain.
Selective Amygdalohippocampectomy (SAH), or mesial temporal lobectomy, was the type of surgery performed on the 115 patients studied. “It was not clear from existing studies to what extent an SAH can lead to significant declines in memory functions, which memory functions are at risk of becoming impaired, and which determinants of outcome can be discerned,” observed author Ulrike Gleissner, PhD.
As a type of epilepsy surgery, SAH was originally developed to spare unaffected brain tissue from resection and thus to minimize the negative consequences of anterior temporal lobectomy, a more conventional surgical technique. Most often SAH is sufficient to eliminate recurrent seizures in patients.
About the Author
Ulrike Gleissner, PhD has been conducting neuropsychological examinations and scientific research in patients with epilepsy since 1994. She has co-authored numerous scientific articles and currently resides in Bonn, Germany.
Epilepsia is the leading, most authoritative source for current clinical and research results on all aspects of epilepsy. As the journal of the International League Against Epilepsy, Epilepsia presents subscribers with scientific evidence and clinical methodology in: clinical neurology, neurophysiology, molecular biology, neuroimaging, neurochemistry, neurosurgery, pharmacology, neuroepidemiology, and therapeutic trials. Each monthly issue features original peer reviewed articles, progress in epilepsy research, brief communications, editorial commentaries, special supplements, meeting reports, book reviews, and announcements.
About the International League Against Epilepsy
The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) was founded in Budapest in September 1909. It has branches now in 92 countries and over 15,000 members. It is a non-profit and non-governmental association, with official links with the World Health Organization and the International Bureau for Epilepsy. It is the world's preeminent association of physicians and other health professionals working towards a world where no persons' life is limited by Epilepsy. Its mission is to provide the highest quality of care and well-being for those afflicted with the condition and other related seizure disorders. For information on epilepsy and education, please visit www.ilae.org for a patient brochure under the "resources" link.
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