Lateralizing value of the Wada memory test in non-Western
patients with temporal lobe epilepsy
- Hongkeun Kim; Sangdoe Yi; Jieun Kim; Eun Ik Son
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- The Wada memory test measures a psychological construct (i.e. memory), which is widely acknowledged to be
under the influence of a vast array of moderating variables including culture. Thus, the lateralizing value of the Wada
memory test for epileptogenic foci may potentially differ for Western versus non-Western patients with temporal lobe
epilepsy (TLE). In the present study, the lateralizing value of the Wada memory test was investigated in 17 Korean
patients with medically intractable TLE who were post-operatively seizure-free. The Wada memory stimuli were
composed of eight drawings of common objects, animals, and fruits. A clinical criterion of at least 2 points difference
between left and right injections correctly classified 14 patients (82%) into left and right TLE groups, with only one
patient (6%) falsely classified. This diagnostic accuracy is at least as high as that reported for Western TLE patients.
These results indicate that whatever culture-specific factors Korean TLE patients may bring to the Wada memory
test, they do not significantly reduce the lateralizing value of the test. © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Intracarotid amobarbital test; Wada test; Epilepsy surgery; Memory
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