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Seizure. 2003 Sep;12(6):346-58.

Presurgical assessment of memory-related brain structures: the Wada test and functional neuroimaging.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Guy's, King's and St. Thomas' School of Medicine, King's College London, London, UK.


Medial temporal lobe structures are known to play a major role in memory processing. Recent work has revealed that extratemporal structures (e.g. the frontal lobe and thalamus) may also be important in memory function. In candidates for epilepsy surgery, particularly in those with temporal lobe seizures, presurgical evaluation of memory function is essential, since seizures may originate in the neural substrate that is critical for memory. In this article, we review the tools used for presurgical evaluation and their contribution to the understanding of memory function, focusing on the Wada test, [18F]fluorodeoxy-glucose positron emission tomography ([18F]FDG-PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We also explore perspectives on future studies that may elucidate the role of the temporal and extratemporal structures in memory function and the mechanisms of cerebral plasticity.

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