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Epilepsy Res. 2006 Dec;72(2-3):89-96. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Attention and psychomotor speed decline in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy: a longitudinal study.

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  • 1Epilepsy Center, St. Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Via A. Di Rudini 8, 20142 Milan, Italy.



To assess the possible cognitive alterations in epilepsy patients compared with controls over 5 years, and to investigate the clinical variables mainly implied in mental impairment.


In our longitudinal single-center study, 50 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and 50 controls were administered the same battery of comprehensive neuropsychological tests at baseline and after 5 years.


TLE patients showed a significant impairment in attention and psychomotor speed compared with controls after 5 years, while the other cognitive domains did not exhibit any important changes. This worsening was mainly related to the duration of epilepsy, the age at onset, a history of tonic-clonic seizures and a low educational level.


We believe that tapping the attention and psychomotor speed decline in TLE patients should be considered relevant for future research, in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the cognitive dimensions of this field.

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