Amnesia After Unilateral Temporal Lobectomy: A Case Report


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. D. W. Loring at Department of Neurology, Section of Behavioral Neurology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912-3275, U.S.A.


Summary: We report a mixed handed (L>R) patient with exclusive right cerebral language representation who de–veloped a permanent anterograde amnestic syndrome after right anterotemporal lobectomy. Preoperative neuropsychological performance consisted of impaired verbal memory and normal nonverbal memory. Wada memory performance was asymmetrical for objects presented soon after amobarbital injection in conjunction with no memory asymmetry for items presented later in the Wada evaluation. Preand postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans showed no structural lesions; however, postoperative MRI hippocampal volume measurements suggested decreased hippocampal volume for the nonresected temporal lobe. These results confirm the risk of anterograde amnesia after unilateral temporal lobectomy and demonstrate that baseline neuropsychological testing may falsely literalize material-specific memory functions in patients with atypical cerebral language dominance.