This study presents the first empirical evaluation of the predictive value of the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery Shape Learning (NAB-SL) subtest in a sample of patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy. Stimulus characteristics of the NAB-SL may improve predictive ability over other commonly used visual memory tests. Forty-nine patients with unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy were compared on measures of non-verbal and verbal memory (NAB-SL and Wechsler Memory Scale-III subtests). Univariate and forward conditional logistic regressions identified predictive values for each memory test individually and in combination. The NAB-SL delayed memory demonstrated consistently stronger predictive power over visual reproduction at the univariate and multivariate levels. The NAB-SL was a good predictor (80% range) of lateralized seizure onset when combined with a verbal memory measure. These preliminary results provide support for the use of the NAB-SL in preoperative epilepsy evaluations as a predictor of non-dominant temporal lobe dysfunction. Potential benefits of this test are discussed.
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