The contribution of neuropsychology to diagnostic assessment in epilepsy

Marilyn Jones-Gotman, Mary Lou Smith, Gail L. Risse, Michael Westerveld, Sara J. Swanson, Anna Rita Giovagnoli, Tatia Lee, Maria Joana Mader-Joaquim, Ada Piazzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuropsychology plays a vital role in the treatment of epilepsy, providing information on the effects of seizures on higher cortical functions through the measurement of behavioral abilities and disabilities. This is accomplished through the design, administration and interpretation of neuropsychological tests, including those used in functional neuroimaging or cortical mapping and in intracarotid anesthetic procedures. The objective of this paper is to define and summarize in some detail the role and methods of neuropsychologists in specialized epilepsy centers. Included are information and recommendations regarding basic ingredients of a thorough neuropsychological assessment in the epilepsy setting, as well as suggestions for an abbreviated alternative exam when needed, with emphasis on functions associated with specific brain regions. The paper is intended for novice and experienced neuropsychologists to enable them to develop or evaluate their current practices, and also for other clinicians, who seek a better understanding of the methodology underlying the neuropsychological input to their work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Assessment
  • Cognition
  • Functional neuroimaging
  • Intracarotid anaesthetic procedure
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Neuropsychology
  • Tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


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