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Margaret Mead
Case Report

Short-Term Memory Impairment and Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Dysfunction in the Orthostatic Position: A Single Case Study of Sinking Skin Flap Syndrome


We describe the case of a patient who underwent craniectomy for hemorrhage of the left parietal lobe. Three weeks later, orthostatic memory impairment was detected as initial symptom of sinking skin flap syndrome (SSFS). This deficit was examined by neuropsychological testing and associated with a posture-dependent increase in the delta/alpha ratio at the F3 electrode, an electroencephalographic (EEG) index related to brain hypoperfusion. This EEG spectral alteration was detected in a brain region that includes the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area known to be involved in memory processing; therefore we hypothesize that SSFS induced reversible hypoperfusion of this otherwise undamaged cortical region. Neither of these findings was present after cranioplasty. This case suggests that SSFS may induce neuropsychological deficits potentially influencing outcome in the postacute phase and is further evidence supporting the clinical benefits of early cranioplasty.