Cognitive Function Related to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Advances in Research on New Cognitive Function Mitsuhiko Yamano 1 , Naoki Akamatsu 2 , Sadatoshi Tsuji 2 1Shizuoka Health Care Center, Central Japan Railway Company 2Department of Neurology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine Keyword: temporal lobe epilepsy , social cognitive function , facial expression recognition , decision-making , amygdalo-hippocampal complexes pp.551-559
Published Date 2013/5/1
DOI https://doi.org/10.11477/mf.1416101494
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 The importance of neuropsychological examinations in epilepsy care and, especially, in epilepsy surgery is centered on the following roles: they offer a means to confirm the epileptic focus by multi-modal preoperative assessments and they help to assess postoperative functional changes based on preoperative cognitive functions. Furthermore, assessments of the cognitive functions of patients with epilepsy using various tests aid in providing comprehensive medical care. Thus far, research on cognitive functions related to temporal lobe epilepsy has focused on memory, language, and general intelligence. However, the concept of social cognitive function has been recently proposed in the field of neuropsychology. This cognitive function, proposed by Brothers in 1990, is a collective term for functions needed in social life; these include functions required to interpret the expressions, feelings, and intentions of others and to form and maintain smooth human relationships while making decisions necessary for self-survival. These functions mainly involve facial expression recognition and decision-making. Findings of research on neural mechanisms underlying social cognitive functions have emphasized the roles of the cerebral limbic system, such as the amygdalo-hippocampal complexes, and the emotional system in the ventromedial prefrontal area. Studies on social cognitive functions in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy are being pursued currently. Early-onset right mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is the key substrate determining a severe deficit in recognizing emotional facial expressions and decision-making. In the future, neuropsychological examinations of social cognition, in addition to those of global intelligence, memory, and verbal function, will contribute to the provision of comprehensive medical care to patients with epilepsy.

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