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September 1989

Cognitive Function and Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Partial Seizures

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Dr Homan) and Psychiatry (Dr Paulman), Nuclear Medicine Center and Department of Radiology (Drs Devous and Bonte), and Academic Computing Services (Dr Jennings), University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and the Neurology (Dr Homan) and Psychology (Drs Paulman and Walker) Services, Dallas Veterans Administration Medical Center, Dallas, Tex. Dr Homan is now with the Department of Neurology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo.

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(9):964-970. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520450034016

• Patients with partial seizures have cognitive function impairments that have been attributed to the toxic side effects of anticonvulsants and structural cerebral damage. However, even when these factors are absent, neuropsychological (NP) deficits have been demonstrated, although of milder degree than in structurally brain-damaged patients. Assessment of cerebral metabolism using positron emission tomography and cerebral blood flow with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) reveals focal physiologic deficits in structurally normal areas. Using both SPECT and NP assessment with the Halstead-Reitan Battery, we evaluated 50 patients with partial seizures. Comparison of the location of visually identified regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) deficits in these patients with the location of the NP deficits revealed a significant correlation. Additional analyses indicated that rCBF quantification in visually identified areas of hypoperfusion was significantly lower than in "normal" areas and that quantified NP variables significantly discriminated patients with and without visual rCBF deficits in temporal and frontal brain regions.

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