Effects of surgery of temporal lobe epilepsy on memory Volume 18, supplement 2, Numéro spécial, Septembre 2006


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Unité d’Épileptologie, hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, 41, bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France, Unité d’évaluation neuropsychologique, pavillon M. Bottard, hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris

Memory dysfunction is frequent and sometimes devastating in refractory medial temporal lobe epilepsy. In 60 to 80 % of cases, surgery of epilepsy will provide a substantial control of seizures, but data from literature and our own experience demonstrate that the effects of surgery on memory are not such positive. In the majority of the cases, it has been observed a decline of the verbal episodic memory performances in the postoperative period whereas visuospatial episodic memory performances are much variable and remain difficult to predict for a given patient. Of course, the postoperative decline of the memory performances is conditioned by the preoperative memory scores. At the opposite, executive functions are substantially improved after surgery of medial temporal lobe epilepsy. This latter fact suggests a deleterious effect of temporal seizures on distant regions.