Treatment of proper name retrieval deficits in an individual with temporal lobe epilepsy

Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2013 May;22(2):S250-5. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2012/12-0048).


Purpose: Studies investigating language deficits in individuals with left temporal-lobe epilepsy have consistently demonstrated impairments in proper name retrieval. The aim of this Phase I rehabilitation study was to investigate the effects of a linguistically distributed word retrieval treatment on proper name retrieval in an individual with left temporal-lobe epilepsy.

Method: A 61-year old right-handed male with left temporal-lobe epilepsy (clinical onset at the age of 50) and a deficit in proper name retrieval participated in this study. A single-subject, repeated-probe ABAA design with testing before, immediately after, and 3 months after treatment completion was employed. Proper name retrieval treatment was administered 2 hr per day for 5 days.

Results: Results demonstrated improved naming on trained items and maintenance of trained items 3 months after treatment completion.

Conclusion: Treatment, which took advantage of the individual's undamaged linguistic networks, promoted the reorganization of networks supporting proper naming, leading to improved proper name retrieval. Further research replicating these findings in individuals with varying degrees of proper name retrieval impairment is warranted. Additionally, the mechanism behind the observed improvements in proper name retrieval needs to be investigated further using functional neuroimaging.

Keywords: language; language disorders; proper names; speech‐language pathology; temporal lobe epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anomia / etiology
  • Anomia / therapy*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / complications*
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / etiology
  • Language Disorders / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Names*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Semantics
  • Speech-Language Pathology / methods*
  • Speech-Language Pathology / standards
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vocabulary