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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2003 Dec;45(12):807-12.

Acquired epileptic dysgraphia: a longitudinal study.

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Neuropaediatric Unit, Department of Paediatrics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.


A male presenting with benign partial epilepsy with rolandic spikes from the age of 7 years was evaluated at age 11 years for worsening of his epilepsy associated with a specific regression of graphomotor skills. A longitudinal study over nearly 2 years showed an improvement in handwriting to an almost normal level under modified antiepileptic therapy. A detailed analysis with a computer-monitored graphics table showed at first a rapid improvement of skills followed by protracted slower progress. We argue that the initial rapid recovery of skills was directly linked to the improvement of his epilepsy. The slower late acquisition of motor programmes that had never been fully established was due to long-standing interference by his epilepsy. The specificity of the deficit within the graphomotor system and its possible neurobiological basis are also discussed. The analytical method and approach used in a single patient might provide an example for other patients in whom epilepsy can interfere in the acquisition, progress, and maintenance of new skills and can be responsible for selective deficits.

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