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Kohler, C; Norstrand, J A; Baltuch, G; O'Connor, M J; Gur, R E; French, J A; Sperling, M R
"Depression in temporal lobe epilepsy before epilepsy surgery"
Epilepsia 1999 Mar; 40(3):336-340
PURPOSE: This study examined the association of depression with laterality of epilepsy surgery in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy before standard lobectomy. METHODS: Forty-nine patients presented for EEG telemetry for localization of epilepsy and eventual temporal lobectomy. Patients underwent routine neuropsychiatric evaluation blinded for epileptic focus, including ratings on depression. Patients were grouped according to right (n = 25, M = 10/F = 15) and left (n = 24, M = 13/F = 11) temporal lobectomy. Analysis of variance included side of surgery as grouping variable and sex, general depressive, cognitive depressive, and vegetative depressive symptoms as dependent variables. Chi2 analyses included categoric variables of sex, handedness, education, neuropathologic findings, and current affective disorders. t Tests were performed on variables of age, epilepsy duration, and cognitive function. RESULTS: Right and left temporal epilepsy groups did not differ with regard to sex, handedness, age, duration of epilepsy, education, cognitive function, and neuropathology. Patients with right temporal epilepsy rated higher on general, cognitive. and vegetative depression scores. Women scored higher on general, cognitive, and vegetative depression scores. Current affective disorders were more common in the right temporal epilepsy group. CONCLUSIONS: Depression ratings and diagnoses were more prominent in patients with right temporal lobe epilepsy and in women in particular. The strength of this laterality finding lies in the selection of patients, as all underwent epilepsy surgery. The finding on gender difference partly reflects the higher incidence of depression in women and needs further exploration. The laterality finding contrasts with recent findings in epilepsy, stroke, and trauma that associate depression with left hemispheric lesions. However, our results are consistent with findings in electrically hyperactive lesions such as gelastic and dacrystic epilepsy

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