The immediate and short-term effects of bilateral intrahippocampal depth electrodes on verbal memory


In contrast to previous studies, Ljung et al. provide evidence of permanent cognitive consequences of bilateral intrahippocampal depth electrodes for verbal memory in patients who were not operated or operated in the right temporal lobe. Stimulated by this, we provide historical confirmatory and supplementary evidence of the detrimental effect of bilateral depth electrodes implanted along the longitudinal axis of the hippocampus on verbal learning and especially on delayed verbal memory and recognition performance. This is demonstrated in 31 patients with memory assessments before implantation, after explantation, and 3 months later after left/right temporal lobe surgery. After surgery, significant recovery from postimplantation impairment is found in right temporal patients. Left temporal resection patients stay on the level seen after implantation and do not recover. Surgery, however, has its own effects in addition to the implantation. Intracranial electrodes for electroencephalographic monitoring or electrical stimulation are commonly and increasingly used for diagnosis or treatment in pharmacoresistant epilepsies. Thus, the monitoring of invasive stereotactic approaches is recommended to find safe procedures for the patients. In response to the findings, we restricted indications and used different implantation schemes, different trajectories, and targets to minimize the risk of additional damage.