Long term neurocognitive improvement after “late” right hemispherectomy: case report and review of the literature
To study the long-term neurocognitive changes of a right-handed girl with intractable epilepsy after late right hemispherectomy and compare them with data in the literature.
The girl was affected by an epileptic encephalopathy associated with right fronto-temporo-parietal polymicrogyria; she was submitted to right hemispherectomy at the age of 5 and examined with cognitive and neuropsychological tests at the age of 17 years. The girl took advantage of neurocognitive rehabilitation for several years; she is currently seizure-free and off therapy.
At the end of the follow-up, the full-scale IQ is stable and within the normal range (p = 88). As the discrepancy between verbal IQ (pp = 120) and performance IQ (pp = 71) is significantly high, the girl was subjected to neurocognitive evaluation with the following results: verbal problem solving, verbal short- and long-term memory, and executive functions are within normal range. The most fragile functional areas are visual and spatial reasoning, verbal working memory, short-term visuospatial memory, visual attention, and processing speed, all > 2 SD. The spatial tests, such as coding, matrix reasoning, picture concepts, and arithmetic reasoning (which are favored by other functions such as associative memory and learning ability), are less severely impaired.
These findings show that good conceptual skills and verbal reasoning can compensate for some deficits in visual-perceptual and visuospatial functions.
KeywordsRight hemispherotomy Epileptic encephalopathy Neuropsychological outcome Long-term
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