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Epilepsia. 2004 Aug;45(8):960-2.

Memory outcome after selective amygdalohippocampectomy in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy: one-year follow-up.

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  • 1University Hospital of Epileptology, Bonn, Germany.



In a previous study we reported clinically significant memory declines 3 months after selective amygdalohippocampectomy (SAH) in 140 patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, particularly if the resection was left-sided. We supposed that the observed postoperative impairments might have reflected acute effects of surgery. Therefore we evaluated in the present study whether a recovery can be found 1 year after surgery.


Verbal and nonverbal memory functions were assessed in 115 patients before and 3 and 12 months after unilateral SAH.


No recovery of postoperative verbal memory declines was found in the left-SAH group. Clinically meaningful losses were still evident in 33 to 50% of patients. In right-SAH patients, a recovery of verbal memory was indicated, and effects of surgical complications were no longer evident. One year after surgery, the corresponding preoperative performance was the only significant predictor of a postoperative change in the left-SAH group.


Verbal memory decline observed 3 months after left SAH is persistent 1 year after surgery. Declines in verbal memory, which were observed in some right-SAH patients at the short-term follow-up, seem to be temporary.

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