The role of psychology and neuropsychology in pediatric epilepsy surgery evaluation

Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2024 Mar 29:101592. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2024.101592. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological problems affecting 470,000 children in the United States. While most youth will achieve seizure freedom using medication, up to a third will continue to have seizures and are therefore considered to have drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE). Children and adolescents with epilepsy are at higher risk of behavioral, cognitive, and emotional disorders. Youth with DRE are at even greater risk of behavioral and emotional problems impacting quality of life and may need to pursue surgical interventions, including resective surgery or device implantation. Due to advances in the evaluation of candidates and surgical options, epilepsy surgery is more effective and has become second-line treatment for youth with DRE. This paper highlights the importance of exploring, assessing, and treating psychological and neuropsychological factors throughout the three phases of the epilepsy surgery process and ways pediatricians can support youth and families.

Keywords: Epilepsy surgery; Neuropsychology; Pediatric epilepsy; Psychology.