Cognitive functions were examined before operation and 4 weeks after operation with respect to pathology in 40 patients who underwent temporal lobectomy for epilepsy. Hippocampal sclerosis was associated with febrile convulsions, an earlier onset of regular seizures, poorer preoperative intelligence and with a tendency towards greater cognitive improvement across the operation than found in patients with tumour-like malformations or non-specific pathology. Damage to the amygdala was associated with a poorer outcome for the retention in memory of verbal and non-verbal material. The absence of any specific abnormality in the resected tissue was not associated with a poorer cognitive outcome 4 weeks after the operation.
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