Epilepsy & behavior case reports 2014 09 302() 167-73 doi 10.1016/j.ebcr.2014.09.002
We present a patient with epilepsy who underwent left anterior temporal cortex resection, sparing the hippocampus, to stop drug-refractory seizures. Given that one year after surgery the patient showed verbal memory difficulties, we proposed a short (twelve weeks) and intensive (two times a week) training based on visual imagery strategies as the nonverbal memory abilities were preserved. Neuropsychological and fMRI assessments were performed before and after rehabilitation to evaluate the cognitive progress and cerebral modifications induced by this rehabilitation program. Our results showed that the rehabilitation program improved both scores for verbal memory and the everyday quality of life. Changes in cerebral activity highlighted by fMRI suggest that the program might have facilitated the development of compensatory strategies, as reflected by the shift of activation from the anterior to the posterior cerebral network during a verbal memory task. One year after the rehabilitation program, the patient reported using mental imagery in everyday life for routine and professional activities. Although supplementary evidence is necessary to increase the robustness of these findings, this case report suggests that an efficient rehabilitation program is feasible and (a) should be based on the individual cognitive profile and on the preserved cognitive abilities, (b) can be short but intensive, (c) can be applied even months after the lesion occurrence, and (d) can induce a positive effect which may be sustainable over time.