Speech and oromotor deficits of epileptic origin in benign partial epilepsy of childhood with rolandic spikes (BPERS). Relationship to the acquired aphasia-epilepsy syndrome

Neuropediatrics. 1993 Apr;24(2):83-7. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1071519.


The authors report three children who suffered temporary oromotor or speech disturbances as focal epileptic manifestations within the frame of benign partial epilepsy of childhood with rolandic spikes and review similar cases described in the literature. The deficit can occur as an initial symptom of the disorder without visible epileptic seizures and interferes in a variable way with simple voluntary oromotor functions or complex movements including speech production, depending on the exact location and spread of the discharging epileptic focus around the perisylvian region. The most severe deficit produces the anterior operculum syndrome. More subtle non-linguistic deficits such as intermittent drooling, oromotor apraxia or dysfluency, as well as linguistic ones involving phonologic production, can occur. The rapidity of onset, progression and recovery of the deficit is very variable as well as its duration and presumably reflects the degree of epileptic activity. In some cases, rapid improvement with antiepileptic medication occurs and coincidence between the paroxysmal EEG activity (which is usually bilateral) and the functional deficit is seen. The clinical and EEG profile of the seizures disorder and the dynamic of the deficit in these cases bear a strong resemblance to what is seen in the acquired epilepsy-aphasia syndrome (Landau and Kleffner). The variations in clinical symptoms appear more related to the main site, local extension and bilaterality of the epileptic foci rather than a basic difference in physiopathology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aphasia / complications
  • Aphasia / diagnosis*
  • Aphasia / physiopathology
  • Apraxias / complications
  • Apraxias / physiopathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / complications
  • Epilepsies, Partial / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Speech Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Speech Disorders / etiology
  • Syndrome
  • Videotape Recording