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Epilepsy Behav. 2013 May;27(2):337-41. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.02.022. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Attention impairment in childhood absence epilepsy: an impulsivity problem?

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  • 1Unit of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy. caterinacerminara@hotmail.com

Abstract

Although attention problems have often been described in children with childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), the use of different methodological approaches, neuropsychological tests, and heterogeneous experimental groups has prevented identification of the selective areas of attention deficit in this population. In this study, we investigated several components of attention in children with CAE using a unique computerized test battery for attention performance. Participants included 24 patients with CAE and 24 controls matched for age and sex. They were tested with a computerized test battery, which included the following tasks: selective attention, impulsivity, focused attention, divided attention, alertness, and vigilance. Compared with healthy controls, patients with CAE made more commission errors in the Go/No-Go task and more omission errors in the divided attention task. Childhood absence epilepsy patients also showed decreased reaction times in measures of selective attention and a great variability of reaction times in alertness and Go/No-Go tasks. Our findings suggest that patients with CAE were impaired in tonic and phasic alertness, divided attention, selective attention, and impulsivity.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
23537619
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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