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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

May 2017, Vol. 29, No. 5, Pages 869-880
(doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01089)
© 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Parahippocampal and Entorhinal Resection Extent Predicts Verbal Memory Decline in an Epilepsy Surgery Cohort
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The differential contribution of medial-temporal lobe regions to verbal declarative memory is debated within the neuroscience, neuropsychology, and cognitive psychology communities. We evaluate whether the extent of surgical resection within medial-temporal regions predicts longitudinal verbal learning and memory outcomes. This single-center retrospective observational study involved patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy undergoing unilateral anterior temporal lobe resection from 2007 to 2015. Thirty-two participants with Engel Class 1 and 2 outcomes were included (14 left, 18 right) and followed for a mean of 2.3 years after surgery (±1.5 years). Participants had baseline and postsurgical neuropsychological testing and high-resolution T1-weighted MRI scans. Postsurgical lesions were manually traced and coregistered to presurgical scans to precisely quantify resection extent of medial-temporal regions. Verbal learning and memory change scores were regressed on hippocampal, entorhinal, and parahippocampal resection volume after accounting for baseline performance. Overall, there were no significant differences in learning and memory change between patients who received left and right anterior temporal lobe resection. After controlling for baseline performance, the extent of left parahippocampal resection accounted for 27% (p = .021) of the variance in verbal short delay free recall. The extent of left entorhinal resection accounted for 37% (p = .004) of the variance in verbal short delay free recall. Our findings highlight the critical role that the left parahippocampal and entorhinal regions play in recall for verbal material.