Cognitive and other neuropsychological profiles in children with newly diagnosed benign rolandic epilepsy

Korean J Pediatr. 2012 Oct;55(10):383-7. doi: 10.3345/kjp.2012.55.10.383. Epub 2012 Oct 29.


Purpose: Although benign rolandic epilepsy (BRE) is a benign condition, it may be associated with a spectrum of behavioral, psychiatric, and cognitive disorders. This study aimed to assess the cognitive and other neuropsychological profiles of children with BRE.

Methods: In total, 23 children with BRE were consecutively recruited. All children underwent sleep electroencephalography (EEG) and were assessed on a battery of comprehensive neuropsychological tests including the Korean versions of the Wechsler intelligence scale for children III, frontal executive neuropsychological test, rey complex figure test, Wisconsin card sorting test, attention deficit diagnostic scale, and child behavior checklist scale.

Results: The study subjects included 13 boys and 10 girls aged 9.0±1.6 years. Our subjects showed an average monthly seizure frequency of 0.9±0.7, and a majority of them had focal seizures (70%). The spike index (frequency/min) was 4.1±5.3 (right) and 13.1±15.9 (left). Of the 23 subjects, 9 showed frequent spikes (>10/min) on the EEG. The subjects had normal cognitive and frontal executive functions, memory, and other neuropsychological sub-domain scores, even though 8 children (35%) showed some evidence of learning difficulties, attention deficits, and aggressive behavior.

Conclusion: Our data have limited predictive value; however, these data demonstrate that although BRE appears to be benign at the onset, children with BRE might develop cognitive, behavioral, and other psychiatric disorders during the active phase of epilepsy, and these problems may even outlast the BRE. Therefore, we recommend scrupulous follow-up for children with BRE.

Keywords: Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; Cognition; Executive function; Intelligence test; Rolandic epilepsy.