Intellectual and language findings and their relationship to EEG characteristics in benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes

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Abstract

Recent research has revealed that benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) causes deficient performance in various neuropsychological areas, without arriving at a definition of a uniform profile. The purpose of this study was to examine intelligence and certain language functions in 24 children with an active centrotemporal focus, comparing them with a group of 16 controls matched for age and schooling. Test results were correlated with several EEG characteristics, including focal versus multifocal presentation of interictal epileptiform activity, lateralization, spike maximum on midtemporal or extratemporal electrodes, and rate of interictal activity when awake and during non-REM sleep. Our study demonstrated that children with BECTS have mild language defects, revealed by tests measuring phonemic fluency, verbal re-elaboration of semantic knowledge, and lexical comprehension. Interictal EEG discharges demonstrated that a high rate of occurrence while awake, multifocal location, and temporal prominence seem to impair the efficiency of some of the neuropsychological functions investigated. However, because the last EEG was obtained within the last 2 months (on average) before the assessment, and because BECTS is a form of epilepsy with signs of cortical hyperexcitability that vary over time in terms of rate, side, and location, the pattern of neuropsychological deficiencies could have changed (at least to some degree) by the time of the test, with respect to the EEG variables considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-285
Number of pages8
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Intelligence
  • Language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology

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