Memory for neurological deficits during the intracarotid Amytal procedure: A hemispheric difference

Presented to the 20th Annual Meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, San Diego CA, February 5-8, 1992. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 14, 96-97.

Seventy-two patients undergoing the Intracarotid Amytal Procedure (IAP) were asked after the procedure to recall the neurological deficits that are caused by the drug (contralateral paralysis, hemianopsia and hemianesthesia, and speech arrest if the injected hemisphere was dominant for speech). Despite the obvious neurological deficits, 39% of the patients were unable to describe any of these lateralized deficits after either injection; 43% of the patients were aware of deficits after one but not the other injection (most of these were aware only of a speech disturbance, always after the left injection); and 18% of the patients could recall focal deficits after both the right- and left-hemisphere injections. Descriptions of focal deficits were more frequent after the left injection than after the right injection, even when reports of speech disturbances are eliminated. Possible causes of this curious pattern of amnesia are discussed.

Last modified 27 December 1996 (HAB)