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Face recognition in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy

Grant number: 11/16249-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): September 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal Investigator:Orlando Francisco Amodeo Bueno
Grantee:Larissa Botelho Gaça
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent and unpredictable interruptions ofnormal neuronal functioning, called epileptic seizures. It does not has only one etiology, and may be the result of several causes that reflect an underlying brain dysfunction. There are reports in the literature with patients that presented both epilepsy and prosopagnosia, which the latest is defined as specific agnosia for face recognition. The fusiform gyrus (areaoccipito-temporal) is considered one of the brain areas responsible for recognizingfaces. It is possible that epileptic discharges propagate to the fusiform gyrus, affecting the face recognition, especially those whose seizures are mesial temporal lobe. The purpose of this study is to investigate the difficulty in recognizing faces by patients with the mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, left and right, comparing the performance in tests, against healthy subjects and also check the performance of patients in a object perception test against the performance in aface recognition assessment to verify if any potential impairment in face recognition is due toprosopagnosia or a dificulty in general perception of figures. Subjects are patients from the Neurology seccion of Hospital São Paulo, aged between 18 and 55 years, education iqual or more than four years, right-handed, male and female, diagnosed with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy confirmed, with normal neurological examination, without other psyquiatric comorbidities. The control group will consist of subjects included in the same age, gender and education without any psyquiatric or neurological disorders.