Clinical and neuropsychological characteristics of pediatric epilepsy patients with atypical language dominance

Epilepsy Behav. 2003 Dec;4(6):746-52. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2003.09.003.


Studies on intracarotid amobarbital procedures (IAP) in pediatric patients are rare and mainly focus on practicability aspects. Very few studies have reported characteristics of children with atypical language dominance. We compared children with left-sided focal epilepsy and atypical (i.e., right or bilateral) versus left-sided language representation (n=12 versus 17). Our results indicate a higher incidence of left handedness, extratemporal lesions, an earlier onset of epilepsy, and a neuropsychological "crowding effect" with distinct nonverbal memory deficits in the atypical group. We conclude that atypical language representation in children with left-sided epilepsy is associated with similar characteristics as in adults. It is recommended that the possibility of a language shift in the presurgical workup of pediatric patients be considered, particularly if a left-hemispheric epileptic focus is suspected.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amobarbital / pharmacology
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Dominance, Cerebral*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electrooculography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology
  • Language Disorders / etiology*
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Verbal Behavior / drug effects
  • Wechsler Scales


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Amobarbital