Hyperfamiliarity is a type of paramnesia characterized by an increased feeling of familiarity to unfamiliar faces. This dysfunction has been associated with frontal and temporal lobe pathology. The study investigated hyperfamiliarity in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) by assessing their ability to recognize both familiar and unfamiliar faces. We evaluated 61 patients with pharmacoresistant TLE (33 right-sided, 28 left-sided) and 16 controls. The ability to recognize familiar faces was similar in patients and controls, although patients with left-sided TLE showed poorer performance in familiar face naming compared to both right-sided TLE patients and controls. Hyperfamiliarity was observed in a significantly higher number of patients with TLE compared to controls; in subgroup analysis, only right-sided TLE patients expressed hyperfamiliarity. Overall, patients with right-sided TLE showed more severe impairment compared to patients with left-sided TLE. It is proposed that hyperfamiliarity can be a relatively common symptom in patients with treatment-refractory TLE and right-sided focus.
- Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe/physiopathology
- Middle Aged
- Neuropsychological Tests
- Pattern Recognition, Visual/physiology
- Recognition, Psychology/physiology
- Temporal Lobe/physiopathology