Neuropsychological and behavioural aspects in children and adolescents with idiopathic epilepsy at diagnosis and after 12 months of treatment

Paolo Piccinelli, Ettore Beghi, Renato Borgatti, Matteo Ferri, Laura Giordano, Antonino Romeo, Cristiano Termine, Maurizio Viri, Claudio Zucca, Umberto Balottin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To study neuropsychological functions in children with idiopathic epilepsy at onset of treatment and after 1 year of therapy and to identify factors associated with cognitive impairment. Methods: 43 Subjects aged 5.2-16.9 years with newly diagnosed idiopathic epilepsy were enrolled and started treatment with valproate or carbamazepine. At admission and after 12 months, all patients underwent clinical examinations, the Child Behavioural Checklist, EEG and a neuropsychological test battery. The results of each test were correlated to demographic, clinical, electrophysiological and therapeutic variables. Results: Except for attention, all neuropsychological functions were normal at admission and after 12 months. An improvement with time was noted for memory (p <0.05) and logical-executive functions (p <0.01). Attentive deficit was worse at 12 months (53.5% vs. 32.6%). Low socio-economic level and emotional and behavioural disturbances were the only factors negatively correlated to intelligence, memory and attention. Compared to valproate, carbamazepine was most commonly implicated. Discussion: Idiopathic epilepsy can affect attention, even before starting treatment. Emotional and behavioural difficulties and a low socio-economical status are associated with cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-546
Number of pages7
JournalSeizure
Volume19
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Antiepileptic drug
  • Behaviour
  • Epilepsy
  • Follow-up
  • Neuropsychology
  • Pediatric age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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