Seizure-related variables are predictive of attention and memory in children with epilepsy

Publication date: August 2017Source:Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 73
Author(s): Danielle N. Lordo, Ryan Van Patten, Eliana L. Sudikoff, Lisa Harker
Children with epilepsy (CWE) are at greater risk for cognitive deficits and behavioral difficulties than are typically developing healthy children, and particular epileptic symptoms and treatments may contribute to this risk. The current study examined the relationships between four seizure-related variables and attention and memory functioning in a sample of 207 CWE (ages 6–16) using both neurocognitive and parent/teacher-report measures. Sociodemographic, medical, and neuropsychological data were collected from patients’ medical charts in a retrospective fashion. Hierarchical multiple regressions were performed with sociodemographic variables (age, gender, race) entered as step one and seizure-related variables (number of anti-epileptic drugs [AEDs], EEG laterality, EEG lobe of focus, lifetime seizure duration) entered as step two. Results indicated that seizure-related variables were consistently predictive of poor cognitive performances above and beyond sociodemographic variables, although only minimally predictive of parent/teacher-reports. A longer duration of seizure burden and greater number of AEDs were robust predictors of performances on most cognitive measures. These findings indicate that CWE with long lifetime seizure durations and multiple AEDs are at risk for inefficiencies in attention and memory. Knowledge of this risk will allow treating providers greater accuracy and precision when planning medical treatment and making recommendations to families.