Cognitive deficits in children with benign rolandic epilepsy of childhood or rolandic discharges: a study of children between 4 and 7 years of age with and without seizures compared with healthy controls

Epilepsy Behav. 2009 Dec;16(4):646-51. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2009.08.012. Epub 2009 Oct 29.


Recent developments in research on cognitive abilities in benign rolandic epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes have led to interest in the following domains: language, memory, executive, motor, and visual-constructive functions. As previous studies have investigated the cognitive development of mainly school-aged children, this study focuses on preschool and elementary school children. Twenty-five children affected by benign rolandic epilepsy/rolandic discharges and 25 healthy children matched for age and sex were enrolled in this retrospective study. The mean IQ scores were 94.76 for children with epilepsy and 99.3 for control children. For the children with benign rolandic epilepsy, cognitive testing revealed increased verbal and nonverbal deficits with respect to articulation (P=0.002), auditory memory (P=0.003), visual memory (P=0.016), language comprehension (P=0.009), and visual-constructive performance (P=0.033), as compared with the children in the control group. In our sample, the results showed an association between rolandic epilepsy and language and memory deficits. As cognitive development in preschool children is progressive and dynamic, larger prospective follow-up studies, with assessments at different time points, will facilitate understanding of the cognitive profiles of children with rolandic epilepsy.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Rolandic / complications
  • Epilepsy, Rolandic / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / complications
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Seizures / complications
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric