Neuropsychologic performance of children with epilepsy on the NEPSY

Pediatr Neurol. 2007 May;36(5):312-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2007.01.011.

Abstract

Neuropsychologic test scores from a group of children with epilepsy were compared to the standardization sample of the NEPSY: A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, a relatively new neuropsychologic testing instrument. Nineteen children with a confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy (11 boys, 8 girls), aged 3-12 years, participated. Attention/executive function, language, sensorimotor, visuospatial, and learning/memory domain scores were examined, as well as individual subtest scores. The mean scores on the attention/executive function, language, and sensorimotor domains were >1.5 standard deviations below the normative mean, and significantly lower than the mean visuospatial domain score (P < 0.05). The mean language domain score was also significantly lower than the learning/memory score (P < 0.05). Mean subdomain scores varied, with impairment on two tasks measuring rapid automatic processing and graphomotor precision, respectively. On the majority of subtests, 15% or more of the sample scored in the impaired range. Associations between patient age, seizure onset age, seizure frequency, and antiepileptic medication status were not associated with outcome, perhaps due in part to the small sample size. The strengths and weaknesses of the NEPSY as a measure of neuropsychologic functioning in children with epilepsy, and its utility in highlighting risks to academic achievement are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index

Substances

  • Anticonvulsants