Impact of frequency and lateralization of interictal discharges on neuropsychological and fine motor status in children with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes


Despite a positive prognosis for seizure remission, children with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) have been reported to exhibit subtle neuropsychological difficulties. We examined the relationship between patterns of centrotemporal spikes (the typical electroencephalography [EEG] finding in BECTS) and neuropsychological and motor outcomes in children with new-onset BECTS. Thirty-four patients with new-onset BECTS (not taking antiepileptic medication) and 48 typically developing children participated in the study. In BECTS patients, centrotemporal spikes (CTS) were evaluated in the first hour awake and first 2 h of sleep in a 24-h EEG recording and left or right-sided origin was noted. General intellectual function, language, visuospatial skill, processing speed, and fine motor skill were assessed in all participants. We found no significant difference between BECTS patients and controls on measures of general intellectual function, or visuospatial or language testing. There were significant differences in processing speed index and nondominant hand fine motor scores between groups. Significant negative relationships were observed between rates of left-sided CTS and right hand fine motor scores. This suggests that psychomotor and fine motor speed are affected in BECTS, but the extent of affected domains may be more limited than previously suggested, especially in untreated patients early in the course of their epilepsy.