Neurocognitive and psychological comorbidities in patients with self-limited centrotemporal spike epilepsy. A case-control study
Introduction. Self-limited epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (SeLECTS) is the most frequent self-limited focal epilepsy. This study aimed to assess the cognitive, behavioral, and other neuropsychological aspects of children with SeLECTS, and compare them with a control group.
Subjects and methods. A case-control study was carried out between January and May 2022. Patients with SeLECTS, aged between 6 and 18 years, and followed-up at our hospital were selected for inclusion in the study. For each case, two age-matched controls were opportunistically recruited. All the participants performed the EpiTrack Junior® test, and their parents filled out the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).
Results. Eighteen patients were included (mean age: 8.7 ± 1.7 years). At SeLECTS’ diagnosis, 83% of cases had adequate psychomotor development, and 17% had a neurodevelopmental disorder. The EpiTrack-Junior® and the Total Problems CBCL scores were not influenced by the laterality of the epileptic focus nor by the number of seizures. 61% of cases showed mild or significant impairment in the EpiTrack-Junior® test versus 44% of controls (p = 0.712), and 39% of cases vs. 14% of controls had ‘clinically significant’ scores on the Total Problems CBCL scale (p = 0.087).
Conclusions. Although this study did not find statistically significant differences between cases and controls, it should be noted that most patients with SeLECTS had a mild or significant disability in executive functions. A considerable percentage of cases were in the pathological range regarding emotional/behavioral problems. This study highlights the importance of screening the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional problems in all patients with SeLECTS.
Key words. Behavioral problems. Cognitive impairment. Epilepsy. Neuropsychological tests. Seizures. Self-limited epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes.