Jazz, Guitar and Neurosurgery: the Pat Martino Case Report.

Regional Department of Neurosurgery, "Virgen de la Arrixaca" University Hospital, Murcia, Spain. Electronic address: .
World Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 2.42). 09/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.wneu.2013.09.042
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We present the case of a professional jazz guitarist with temporal lobe epilepsy secondary to an arteriovenous cerebral malformation. He underwent a left temporal lobectomy in 1980. Following surgery, he presented with severe retrograde amnesia as well as complete loss of musical interest and capabilities. The patient's musical abilities recovered over time and he regained his previous virtuoso status. In 2007 his medical history, neuropsychological functions, and structural MRI were examined and revealed a remarkable degree of recovery of memory and musical abilities in the context of extensive temporal lobe resection. The neuropsychological findings and neuroanatomical features of the MRI were analyzed to try to understand the high degree of recovery of both long-term memory and musical processing abilities in this musician. This case also reveals the possibility of an unusual degree of cerebral plasticity and re-organization. Additionally, it emphasizes the question of musical virtuosism. This report shows that the musical capabilities of professional musicians, in specific cases, can completely recover even when much of the left temporal lobe has been removed.

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