Components of attention in children with complex partial seizures with and without ADHD

Epilepsia. 1999 Feb;40(2):211-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1999.tb02077.x.


Purpose: To evaluate attentional difficulties in children with complex partial seizures, we reviewed the records of 12 children with complex partial seizures with attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (CPS/ADHD); 21 children with CPS without ADHD (CPS); 22 children with ADHD; and 15 control children.

Methods: Each child completed a computerized performance test (CPT), which evaluated sustained attention, inhibition of response, response time, and consistency of response. The ADHD groups also completed the CPT after a dose of methylphenidate.

Results: The results found poorest performance on the CPT by the CPS/ADHD group. Particular difficulty in attention was found for children with epilepsy regardless of the ADHD diagnosis. When methylphenidate was administered to the ADHD groups, both groups improved in performance on the CPT.

Conclusions: Epilepsy may predispose children to attention problems that can significantly interfere with learning. Similar improvement for children with CPS/ADHD was found with methylphenidate compared with baseline as for children with ADHD but without CPS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention* / drug effects
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / pharmacology
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reaction Time
  • Software
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wechsler Scales / statistics & numerical data


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Methylphenidate