Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is associated with language disturbances during the active phase of the seizure disorder. However, it is not yet known whether these deficits are reversible or have long-term impact on the development of language skills. We report on a study conducted in 13 patients in remission from BECTS and 13 age-matched controls, who underwent neuropsychological assessments. We also recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) during a verb generation task, to determine cortical lateralization of language. The BECTS group showed significant language deficits compared to controls as well as a pattern of atypical ERP lateralization in frontal regions. These findings support the view that BECTS in childhood may lead to enduring effects on brain maturation and language development.
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2011 International League Against Epilepsy.