Neuropsychological Profiles in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy With and Without a History of Traumatic Brain Injury




Wadsworth, Hannah Elizabeth

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Neuropsychological deficits have long been observed in those with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Language and verbal memory are often impaired in individuals with left TLE and visuospatial and visual memory can be impaired in patients with right TLE. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common known cause of epilepsy. Given the heterogeneous nature of TBI, neurocognitive deficits can vary after injury; however, difficulty in memory, attention, processing speed, and executive functioning are consistently observed. Even though these two neurological conditions are intertwined, very little is known about the combined effects on neurocognitive functioning. This study aimed to examine neuropsychological functioning in TLE patients with and without a history of TBI. It was predicted that those with a history of TBI would have greater deficits in attention, processing speed, and executive functioning than those without TBI. Binary logistic regression models were used to determine the value of an array of neuropsychological measures in differentiating those with and without TBI. Results suggested greater cognitive difficulties, particularly in executive functioning, in those with a history of TBI. Understanding that TLE patients with a TBI history could have greater cognitive impairments may assist with clinician interpretation of neuropsychological findings. Future research should expand on the current results to further describe differences in epilepsy populations with and without a history of TBI in a larger, more diverse sample, and with a greater number of individuals who completed semantic fluency and AVLT.

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