Association of language dysfunction and age of onset of benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes in children

Jurkeviciene, G.; Endziniene, M.; Laukiene, I.; Saferis, V.; Rastenyte, D.; Plioplys, S.; Vaiciene-Magistris, N.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2012 May 9; 16(6):653-61


BACKGROUND: Language dysfunction in children with benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) has been well recognized but data regarding its risk factors are heterogenous. AIMS: To assess language function in children with BECTS and its association with the age of epilepsy onset. METHODS: We assessed language function in 61 children with BECTS and 35 age and sex-matched controls. Children with BECTS performed significantly worse on all language tasks as compared to controls and overall better language function was positively correlated with older age of the child. Early age at seizure onset demonstrated significant negative correlation with language dysfunction, age below 6 years being related to the lowest performance scores. There was no relationship between the language function and the laterality of epileptic focus, seizure treatment status, or the duration of epilepsy. CONCLUSION: Children with BECTS have language difficulties that are more pronounced in younger age group. Despite better language functioning in older children with BECTS, their verbal abilities remain inferior to those of children without epilepsy. Early age at seizure onset is a significant factor predicting worse language functioning in children with BECTS.

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