Impact of benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) on school performance

Seizure. 2012 Mar;21(2):87-91. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2011.09.004. Epub 2012 Jan 4.


BECTS represents the vast majority of childhood focal epilepsy. Owing to the age peculiarity of children who suffer from this disease, i.e., school-going age of between 6 and 9 years, the condition is often referred to as a school disorder by parents and teachers.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the academic performance of children with BECTS, according to the clinical and electroencephalographic ILAE criteria, and compare the results of neuropsychological tests of language and attention to the frequency of epileptic discharges.

Methods: The performances of 40 school children with BECTS were evaluated by applying a school performance test (SBT), neuropsychological tests (WISC and Trail-Making), and language tests (Illinois Test Psycholinguistic Abilities-ITPA--and Staggered Spondaic Word-SSW). The same tests were applied in the control group.

Results: Children with BECTS, when compared to those in the control group, showed lower scores in academic performance (SPT), digits and similarities subtests of WISC, auditory processing subtest of SSW, and ITPA--representational and automatic level. The study showed that epileptic discharges did not influence the results.

Conclusion: Children with BECTS scored significantly lower scores in tests on academic performance, when compared with those in the control group probably due to executive dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Rolandic / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy, Rolandic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Learning Disabilities / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests