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Pediatr Neurol. 2000 Nov;23(5):391-5.

Cognitive and behavioral problems in children with centrotemporal spikes.

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Department of Neurology, Section of Child Neurology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.


Atypical features in benign epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) are not uncommon. There are children with BECTS who do not have a benign outcome in terms of neuropsychologic functioning. BECTS have been linked with Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) and continuous spikes and waves during slow sleep (CSWS). At the Medical College of Georgia from January 1988 to June 1999, 78 children, ages 2-16 years, were identified to have electroencephalogram evidence of centrotemporal spikes. Their medical records were reviewed for developmental history, behavioral problems, and school performance. Children with structural lesions/other epileptic syndromes were excluded. Fifty-six demonstrated a history of clinical seizures compatible with BECTS and 22 demonstrated centrotemporal spikes without clinical seizures. Among all children with centrotemporal spikes, 9% (n = 7) were diagnosed with mild intellectual disability (intelligence quotient < 70), 10% (n = 8) with borderline functioning, 31% (n = 24) with behavioral problems, and 17% (n = 13) with specific learning disabilities. Three children with BECTS experienced language delay and regression. Seizure control for BECTS usually is achieved without much difficulty, with excellent long-term prognosis. However, the data presented indicate that a large number of BECTS patients exhibit learning or behavior problems that require intervention. A small number may demonstrate language outcome similar to children with LKS and CSWS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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