Verbal memory decline is less frequent at 10 years than at 2 years after temporal lobe surgery for epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Aug;24(4):462-7. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.05.015. Epub 2012 Jul 11.


We investigated individual short- and long-term verbal memory changes after temporal lobe resection for epilepsy. Fifty-one patients (23 operated on the speech-dominant temporal lobe, DTL and 28 on the non-dominant temporal lobe, NDTL) were tested on learning/immediate recall and delayed recall of word-list and word-pairs preoperatively, 2 years postoperatively and 10years postoperatively. Changes were defined using reliable change indices of 23 healthy controls assessed at corresponding intervals. Fewer patients had reliable declines at 10 years than at 2 years (DTL: 13-35% vs 35-44%; NDTL: 0-4% vs 7-21%). Four DTL patients (17%) had reliable declines in ≥2 tests at 10-year follow-up. More NDTL patients had improvement at 10 years than at 2 years (18-30% vs 4-22%). The only risk factor for decline both short and long term was DTL resection. In conclusion, most patients had stable verbal memory postoperatively. A few DTL patients had a lasting decline at long-term follow-up, but more patients showed partial recovery, especially in the NDTL group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Temporal Lobectomy / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Epilepsy / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Verbal Learning / physiology*