Language development was examined in 24 children (mean age 11 years; range 5.8-15.7 years) with AED intractable epilepsy before and 6, 12, and 24 months after anterior temporal lobectomy, in a study by the Dutch Collaborative Epilepsy Surgery Programme (DuCESP) at University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands. Before surgery, the mean language delay varied from 1.7 years to 3.5 years and after surgery, language development was slower than normal, except for receptive syntax (execution of oral commands). Productive lexicon (oral response to visually presented objects) was slowed when surgery and language mediation were both in the left hemisphere. [1]

COMMENT. Intractable temporal lobe epilepsy is a risk factor for delay in language development, and surgery does not result in improved language. Some language components are slowed when surgery and language mediation both involve the left hemisphere. Temporal lobectomy of the non-dominant hemisphere is not expected to affect language development.