John Libbey Eurotext

MoCA as a cognitive assessment tool for absence status epilepticus Volume 22, issue 2, April 2020


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Hospital da Luz, Neurology Department, Member of the ERN EpiCARE, Lisbon, Portugal
* Correspondence: Sofia Grenho Rodrigues Neurology Department, Hospital da Luz de Lisboa, Avenida Lusíada n°100, 1500-650 Lisboa, Portugal

De novo absence status is clinically characterized by a confusional syndrome and neurophysiologically by the presence of periodic spike/polyspike-and-wave discharges on EEG. The treatment should be started promptly, and fast recovery is usually seen. However, cognitive symptoms can be very difficult to detect, and no consensus exists on how cognitive improvement can be clinically monitored. We report a patient with absence status epilepticus, whose therapeutic response was monitored neurophysiologically with EEG and clinically with a cognitive test; the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Based on this case report, we describe the use of the MoCA for monitoring cognitive function in a patient with absence status epilepticus. MoCA was evaluated on three occasions, with a total score ranging from 9, before treatment, to 23, when an EEG with no epileptiform discharges was obtained. We suggest that MoCA may be a useful tool to monitor cognitive improvement in absence status epilepticus.