Neuropsychological assessment of subjects with uncontrolled epilepsy: effects of EEG feedback training

Epilepsia. Mar-Apr 1988;29(2):163-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1988.tb04414.x.


A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered at baseline, postcontrol period, and posttraining period to 24 drug-refractory subjects with epilepsy participating in a study of sensorimotor electroencephalographic (EEG) normalization feedback training. Results revealed the following. First, subjects exhibited significant baseline deficits in psychosocial, cognitive and motor functioning. Second, certain tests discriminated subjects before training who were subsequently above and below the median in seizure reduction following EEG training. Subjects who showed the greatest seizure reduction performed better on a test of general problem-solving ability but not on other cognitive tests and worse on tests involving strong motor components and were more intact psychosocially. These subjects also took significantly fewer medications in combination than did less successful subjects. Third, improvement on several measures occurred following participation in the study. Cognitive and motor functioning improved only in subjects with the greatest seizure reduction and only after actual training as opposed to control conditions. Psychological functioning, as measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) improved in both outcome groups. MMPI improvement, unlike cognitive improvement, was as likely to occur after control conditions, when seizure reduction had not yet occurred, as after EEG training. Thus, MMPI changes apparently reflected the nonspecific benefits of participation in this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Biofeedback, Psychology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Epilepsy / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MMPI
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Wechsler Scales


  • Anticonvulsants