PET studies have shown an association between changes in blood flow in the insular cortex and verbal memory. This study compared verbal memory profiles between a group of four right handed patients with right insular infarction and a group of six right handed patients with left insular infarction. Patient groups were comparable in age, education, and sex. Patients were administered memory tests about 4–8 weeks poststroke. Patients with left insular lesions showed significantly poorer immediate and delayed verbal memory as measured by story A of the WMS-R logical memory I (t=−2.73, p<0.03) and logical memory II (t=−4.1, p<0.004) subtests as well as the CERAD word list memory (delayed recall) (t=−2.4, p<0.05). These findings indicate that left insular damage is associated with poorer performance on verbal memory tasks. The findings suggest that the insula may be part of a functional network that mediates verbal memory.
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