Département Pédiatrie, Neurologie Pédiatrique et Laboratoire Neurosciences Fonctionnelles et Pathologies (CNRS UMR 8160), Hôpital Nord, Amiens, France, Laboratoire Efficience Cognitive dans les Conduites Humaines d’Apprentissage et de Travail (EA 2092), Université Picardie Jules-Verne, Amiens, France
The aim of this study was to identify the attentional processes specifically affected in children with benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS). The impact of several factors - laterality of discharges, age-at-onset and duration of epilepsy, and medication - on these cognitive functions was also studied. A group of 29 children with BCECTS was evaluated using standardized tests performed in routine clinical practice and specifically designed to assess executive and attentional functions. This group obtained mean scores significantly lower than normative means specifically for tasks involving attention control processes, i.e. cognitive flexibility and inhibitory processes. Neither the epilepsy-related factors that we studied nor the medication appeared to influence performance of these tasks. These data suggest an impact of BCECTS on attentional processes, the most affected being attention control processes that develop late.