AIM: To assess the cognitive function and language ability in children with benign partial epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes. METHODS: Twenty-five patients with benign partial epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes were included. They were divided into two subgroups. Group I: 10 patients with rolandic focus who were not treated. Group II: 15 patients with rolandic focus receiving treatment. A third Group of 12 healthy subjects have been studied. All children underwent standardized neuropsychological testing: electroencephalogram recording, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-revised, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT-III) and Boston Naming Test (BNT), both during active disease (T1) and 2 years after recovery from epilepsy (T2). RESULTS: At T1 evaluation, no significant differences in group I and II patients about general intelligence, when compared with controls, were found. Group I and II patients were impaired with respect to controls in the receptive and expressive vocabulary evaluated with PCVT-III and BNT, respectively. At T2 evaluation, group I and II patients showed a normalization of the language abnormalities. CONCLUSION: Deficits of speech-related abilities can be detected in children with this type of epilepsy: these dysfunctions seem to be independent of the effects of antiepileptic treatment and are reversible after remission of epilepsy.
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