March 8, 2021

Cognitive and Behavioral Profiles of Pediatric Surgical Candidates With Frontal and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Background: We aimed to prospectively analyze memory and executive and social cognitive functioning in patients with drug-resistant frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE) and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with focal lesions and isolate the impact of intellectual ability on specific deficits.

Methods: A neuropsychological evaluation was performed in 23 children with FLE, 22 children with TLE, and 36 healthy pediatric controls (HCs). Patients in the epilepsy groups had a range of lesions, including low-grade epilepsy-associated tumors (LEAT), focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) type II, and mesial temporal sclerosis (MS).

Results: There were no significant differences between children with FLE and TLE regarding memory, executive, or social cognitive functioning. General Ability Index (GAI) was a predictor of memory, executive function, and social cognition scores and was influenced by age at onset, duration of epilepsy, and number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) prescribed at the time of assessment. Working Memory Index scores of patients with TLE, which measure verbal mnesic processing, were significantly lower than those of HCs and patients with TLE. The greatest differences in both clinical groups compared to HCs were recorded in cognitive executive functions, and patients with FLE had lower scores in this domain. Regarding behavioral executive functions, patients with TLE presented impaired emotional control and impulse inhibition and patients with FLE exhibited decreased flexibility.

Conclusion: Consistent with previous research, our findings provide further detailed evidence of small differences in cognitive performance among children with frontal lobe epilepsy and temporal lobe epilepsy. These differences emerge on analysis of the factors with which deficits are associated.

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