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Epilepsia. 2006;47 Suppl 2:34-9.

Correlation between cognition and behavior in epilepsy.

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  • 1Clinical Psychiatry, University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy.


Cognitive function is more frequently impaired in people with epilepsy than in the general population, and the degree of cognitive impairment varies according to the epilepsy syndrome. Behavioral disorders are also more frequent in people with epilepsy than in individuals who do not have epilepsy. Behavioral disturbance is observed more frequently in people with drug-resistant epilepsy, frequent seizures, and/or associated neurological or mental abnormalities. In children and adolescents, many data suggest a close link between behavior/cognition and some specific epilepsy syndromes. For example, aspects of mood, behavior, personality, and cognition may be related to temporal lobe epilepsy or juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Behavioral disorders may precede, occur with, or follow a diagnosis of epilepsy; they differ between children and adults. Predictors of behavioral disorders in children with epilepsy are the epilepsy itself, treatment, the underlying lesion, and personal reactions to epilepsy. More specifically, conditions in which behavioral disorders may be associated with epilepsy include depression, psychosis, particular personality traits, aggression, anxiety, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.

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