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Episodic memory impairment and hippocampal pathology are hallmark features of both temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Pattern separation (PS), which enables the distinction between similar but unique experiences, is thought to contribute to successful encoding and retrieval of episodic memories. Impaired PS has been proposed as a potential mechanism underling episodic memory impairment in aMCI, but this association is less established in TLE. In this study, we examined behavioral PS in patients with TLE and explored whether profiles of performance in TLE are similar to aMCI.
Patients with TLE, aMCI, and age-matched, healthy controls (HCs) completed a modified recognition task that relies on PS for the discrimination of highly similar lure items, the Mnemonic Similarity Task (MST). Group differences were evaluated and relationships between clinical characteristics, California Verbal Learning Test—Second Edition scores, and MST performance were tested in the TLE group.
Patients with TLE and aMCI demonstrated poorer PS performance relative to the HCs, but performance did not differ between the two patient groups. Neither the side of seizure focus nor having hippocampal sclerosis affected performance in TLE. However, TLE patients with clinically defined memory impairment showed the poorest performance.
Memory performance on a task that relies on PS was disrupted to a similar extent in TLE and aMCI. The MST could provide a clinically useful tool for measuring hippocampus-dependent memory impairments in TLE and other neurological disorders associated with hippocampal damage.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of a new viral entity, coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), to be a worldwide pandemic. The characteristics of this virus, as well as its short- and long-term implications, are not yet well understood. The objective of the current paper was to provide a critical review of the emerging literature on COVID-19 and its implications for neurological, neuropsychiatric, and cognitive functioning.
A critical review of recently published empirical research, case studies, and reviews pertaining to central nervous system (CNS) complications of COVID-19 was conducted by searching PubMed, PubMed Central, Google Scholar, and bioRxiv.
After considering the available literature, areas thought to be most pertinent to clinical and research neuropsychologists, including CNS manifestations, neurologic symptoms/syndromes, neuroimaging, and potential long-term implications of COVID-19 infection, were reviewed.
Once thought to be merely a respiratory virus, the scientific and medical communities have realized COVID-19 to have broader effects on renal, vascular, and neurological body systems. The question of cognitive deficits is not yet well studied, but neuropsychologists will undoubtedly play an important role in the years to come.
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