Longitudinal assessment of neuropsychologic and language function in children with benign rolandic epilepsy

Ellen Northcott, Anne M. Connolly, Jenny McIntyre, Jane Christie, Anna Berroya, Alan Taylor, Jennifer Batchelor, Galia Aaron, Samantha Soe, Andrew F. Bleasel, John A. Lawson, Ann M E Bye*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    Previous studies of benign rolandic epilepsy have reported improvement in cognitive functioning over time. Their focus was the impact of paroxysmal electroencephalographic (EEG) activity on neuropsychologic function. Comprehensive longitudinal language assessment has not previously been undertaken. In a cross-sectional study, we demonstrated that some children with benign rolandic epilepsy have difficulties in verbal and visual memory and phonologic awareness. The current study evaluated a subgroup longitudinally to determine if difficulties improved. Twenty-eight patients underwent comprehensive longitudinal neuropsychologic and language assessments. The clinical features evaluated included seizure frequency, absolute age, medications, and a follow-up EEG. Differences in performance were analyzed using t-tests. Improvement in cognitive functioning, particularly in the areas of verbal memory, receptive language ability, and phonemic manipulation, was demonstrated. Visual memory and aspects of phonologic awareness showed no change. The improvements were not related to the clinical variables. It is important to recognize cognitive difficulties in children with benign rolandic epilepsy. Some difficulties can resolve; however, continued monitoring, particularly in areas of visual memory and phonologic awareness, is required.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)518-522
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Child Neurology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


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