Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Via Hippocampal Sclerosis Affects Memory Function

PHILADELPHIA — Compared with matched controls, patients with temporal lobe epilepsy caused by hippocampal sclerosis displayed significant deficits in everyday memory functions and impairment in daily activities, according to data presented at the 2015 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

The primary objective for Ellen Lima, of the University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil, and fellow researchers was to measure everyday and prospective memory in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy caused by hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS), and to compare their performance with age- and gender-matched healthy controls.

Lima and colleagues enrolled 30 patients with TLE-HS (mean age, 37.83 years; 70% women) and 27 healthy controls (mean age, 31 years; 62.96% women). Assessment included the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test (RBMT) and statistical analyses with one-way analysis of covariance, with age and IQ as confounding factors.

When compared with the control group, patients with TLE-HS exhibited worse performance on the overall RBMT score (P<.001), and a more difficult time recalling the names of unfamiliar people (P=.039) and places where personal items were stored (P=.031), as well as giving a message after a short period of time (P=.025).

Several additional metrics of memory were also worse in the TLE-HS group, including remembrance of previous objects presented (P=.025), a story full of details (P=.009) and a previous presented short route (P=.015). Furthermore, TLE-HS patients demonstrated a greater impairment in time and space orientation (P=.001).

Researchers also reported that the use of polytherapy and lack of seizure control significantly influenced RBMT performance.

“Patients with TLE-HS demonstrated deficits in everyday memory functions, showing significant impairment in daily activities that would not be evaluated in a standard neuropsychological battery designed to assess episodic memory functions,” Lima and colleagues wrote in the abstract, adding that seizure frequency and polytherapy significantly impact everyday memory. “Impairment in recalling names, routes, stories, messages and a space/time disorientation can adversely impact social adaptation and should receive greater attention in a neuropsychological evaluation of patients with memory complaints.”

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  1. Lima E, Rzezak P, Gargaro A, et al. Abstract 2.326. Seizure frequency and polytherapy impact everyday memory in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy caused by hippocampal sclerosis. Presented at: American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting; Dec. 4-8, 2015; Philadelphia.