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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2002 May;24(3):311-26.

Familial association of neuropsychological traits in patients with generalized and partial seizure disorders.

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  • 1Section on Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, NIMH, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


To investigate familial effects of neuropsychological deficits associated with seizure disorders, we studied 65 families, in which 1 member had epilepsy. The disorders included childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Age-appropriate tests were administered to assess sustained attention, encoding and verbal memory, executive and focused attention and attentional flexibility/impulsivity. CAE probands attained lower scores than other probands in visual sustained attention and the ability to focus on and execute a visual-motor task. Scores of the unaffected relatives tended to fall between those of the probands and the controls. JME relatives had lower scores than other relatives in tests of visual and auditory sustained attention and attentional flexibility, and showed greater variability in response time. Behavioral information of this type may aid in the specification and differentiation of genetic linkages in affected families.

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