Objective: Idiopathic epilepsies are considered to have relatively good prognoses and normal or near normal developmental outcomes. Nevertheless, accumulating studies demonstrate memory and psychosocial deficits in this population, and the prevalence, severity and relationships between these domains are still not well defined. We aimed to assess memory, psychosocial function, and the relationships between these two domains among children with idiopathic epilepsy syndromes using an extended neuropsychological battery and psychosocial questionnaires. Methods: Cognitive abilities, neuropsychological performance, and socioemotional behavior of 33 early adolescent children, diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy, ages 9-14. years, were assessed and compared with 27 age- and education-matched healthy controls. Results: Compared to controls, patients with stabilized idiopathic epilepsy exhibited higher risks for short-term memory deficits (auditory verbal and visual) (p. <0.0001), working memory deficits (p. <0.003), auditory verbal long-term memory deficits (p. <0.0021), and more frequent psychosocial symptoms (p. <0.0001). The severity of auditory verbal memory deficits was related to severity of psychosocial symptoms among the children with epilepsy but not in the healthy controls. Significance: Results suggest that deficient auditory verbal memory may be compromising psychosocial functioning in children with idiopathic epilepsy, possibly underscoring that cognitive variables, such as auditory verbal memory, should be assessed and treated in this population to prevent secondary symptoms.
- Idiopathic epilepsy
- Psychosocial functioning