To be used in preoperative patient counselling for an individualized assessment on the risk of declining verbal memory, researchers created a prediction model for verbal memory decline following temporal lobe resection (TLR) for epilepsy. The prediction model was based on a sample of 110 consecutive patients who had TLR for epilepsy at Sahlgrenska University Hospital between 1987 and 2011. Before surgery and 2 years later, they all underwent a formal neuropsychological evaluation. The final model comprised four predictors: side of surgery; inclusion or not of the hippocampus in the resection; preoperative verbal memory function; and presence/absence of focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures the last year prior to the presurgical investigation.
Investigators found that 82% of patients with a postoperative decline in verbal memory were accurately identified by the model; the overall precision was 70%-85% depending on risk threshold choice. The model will assist patients to make better informed therapy choices and also allow the epilepsy surgery team to better prepare patients for the process of rehabilitation.