The goal of the present study was to investigate speech comprehension in patients with left or right temporal epilepsy at three language levels: single words, sentences and discourse. According to the results, no difference was found between patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and healthy Russian speakers in single word comprehension. However, patients with temporal lobe epilepsy showed significant difficulties in sentence and discourse comprehension as compared to the control group, irrespective of lateralization of the epileptogenic focus. The two groups of patients did not differ in speech comprehension at any language level. The observed results may be related to the involvement of both temporal lobes in language processing and to the decline in other cognitive abilities in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.
This paper explores language comprehension and production in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by an epileptogenic focus near language areas or their homologues in the brain. Behavioral studies have shown that language processing in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy could be impaired across language domains — from single words to discourse. Neuroimaging data suggest that temporal lobe epilepsy may lead to changes in the lateralization and localization of language functions, reorganization of functional connections, and alterations in cortical structure and white matter tracts. The severity of language impairments and the degree of functional and structural reorganization in the brain correlate with clinical factors, including lateralization of the epileptogenic focus, age at seizure onset, disease duration, and frequency of epileptiform activity.