Cognitive problems related to epilepsy syndromes, especially malignant epilepsies

Seizure. 2006 Jun;15(4):227-34. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2006.02.019. Epub 2006 Mar 24.


Neurocognitive impairment is frequent in epilepsy patients. Causes are multiple, and may be influenced by several factors including the epilepsy syndrome. Most cognitive complaints in adult patients are mental slowness, memory difficulties and attention deficits. In children, cognitive problems are more diffuse, responsible for language troubles, learning difficulties, poor academic outcome, behavior problems and finally unfortunate socio-professional prognosis. The most devastating epilepsy syndromes such as epileptic encephalopathies are nearly exclusively described in infancy and childhood. This paper will review the major cognitive complaints in relation to the epilepsy syndrome, with a more detailed interest for the malignant epilepsies in infancy and childhood such as Ohtahara and West syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and epileptic encephalopathis with continuous spike-and-wase during slow wave sleep. The impact of surgery on cognition will be briefly discussed in adults and youger patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / psychology*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / surgery
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / pathology
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / psychology*
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / surgery
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Syndrome
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology