Test-specific differences in verbal memory assessments used prior to surgery in temporal lobe epilepsy

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OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship between two commonly used verbal memory tests in presurgical evaluation for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) in Sweden, the Claeson-Dahl Test for verbal learning and retention (CDT) and the Swedish version of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT).

METHODS: Fifty-nine patients with TLE (male: 41%, mean: age 41.7 ± 12.3 years; epilepsy onset at mean age: 18.3 ± 13.1 years) previously tested with the CDT, the RAVLT, and three nonverbal memory tests on the same occasion were included. We performed (1) a principal component analysis (PCA) on test performances in the CDT and the RAVLT as well as in nonverbal memory tests; (2) a Pearson's correlation analysis for memory components, biological age, education, age at epilepsy onset, and self-rating scores for depression and anxiety; and (3) an estimation of clinically significant verbal memory impairment in patients with left TLE and left-sided hippocampal sclerosis.

RESULTS: The PCAs showed coherence between the learning variables of the CDT and the RAVLT and divergence between the recall variables of the two tests. The RAVLT delayed recall variable was correlated to four out of five nonverbal memory measures. Both tests showed 70-80% clinically significant impairment of verbal memory in patients with left TLE, with or without hippocampal sclerosis, similar to other cohorts with resistant TLE.

CONCLUSIONS: The construct structure of the two verbal memory differs. It was shown that the RAVLT correlated with visuospatial memory, whereas the CDT did not. The study highlights that there are important nonoverlapping features regarding verbal recall of the two tests, indicating that these tests cannot fully replace one another.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology


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