Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most prevalent form of complex partial seizures with temporal lobe origin of electrical abnormality. Studies have shown that recurrent seizures affect all aspects of cognitive functioning, including memory, language, praxis, executive functions, and social judgment, among several others. In this article, we will review these cognitive impairments along with their neuropathological correlates in a comprehensive manner. We will see that neuropsychological deficits are prevalent in TLE. Much of the effort has been laid on memory due to the notion that temporal lobe brain structures involved in TLE play a central role in consolidating information into memory. It seems that damage to the mesial structure of the temporal lobe, particularly the amygdale and hippocampus, has the main role in these memory difficulties and the neurobiological plausibility of the role of the temporal lobe in different aspects of memory. Here, we will cover the sub-domains of working memory and episodic memory deficits. This is we will further proceed to evaluate the evidences of executive function deficits in TLE and will see that set-shifting among other EFs is specifically affected in TLE as is social cognition. Finally, critical components of language related deficits are also found in the form of word-finding difficulties. To conclude, TLE affects several of cognitive function domains, but the etiopathogenesis of all these dysfunctions remain elusive. Further well-designed studies are needed for a better understanding of these disorders.
Keywords: Neuropsychological deficits; neurological correlates; temporal lobe epilepsy.