Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior
Objective: Frontal lobectomy is often used as a surgical treatment for frontal lobe epilepsy, especially when a large epileptogenic zone in the frontal lobe is inferred from preoperative evaluation. The frontal lobe is important for cognitive functions such as executive functions and verbal fluency, but the neuropsychological outcome after a frontal or prefrontal lobectomy that includes both the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventral prefrontal cortex has not been studied thoroughly. In the present study, we evaluated neuropsychological outcomes after patients with frontal lobe epilepsy received a frontal or prefrontal lobectomy.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the data of patients with frontal lobe epilepsy who underwent a frontal or prefrontal lobectomy that includes both the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventral prefrontal cortex at 16 years or older from October 2004 to December 2014, with a minimum postoperative follow-up of 24 months. We analyzed and compared neuropsychological outcomes, including executive functions, verbal fluency, intelligence, and memory, before and after the operation.
Results: Eighteen patients were 16 years or older and underwent pre- and postoperative (2 years after the operation) neuropsychological evaluations. Patients showed significant deterioration only on the Benton Visual Retention Test. Performance on tests of frontal lobe functions, such as executive function and verbal fluency, showed no significant deterioration.
Conclusions: Overall cognitive performance, including functions widely thought to depend on the frontal lobe, is stable after a frontal or prefrontal lobectomy to treat frontal lobe epilepsy.