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Epilepsy Behav. 2006 Jun;8(4):726-35. Epub 2006 May 5.

Thought disorder: A developmental disability in pediatric epilepsy.

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Department of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


This study compared thought disorder (i.e., impaired use of language to formulate and organize thoughts) in 93 children with complex partial seizures (CPSs) and 56 children with primary generalized epilepsy with absence (PGE) and its relationship to age, seizure, cognitive, and linguistic variables. By the use of psychopathology, social competence, academic achievement, and school problem measures, the functional implications of thought disorder in these two groups were compared. When demographic variables were controlled for, there were no significant differences in thought disorder scores between the CPS and PGE groups. However, the profile of age, gender, seizure, and cognitive variables related to thought disorder differed in the CPS and PGE groups. Within each group, different aspects of thought disorder were associated with different seizure variables. Thought disorder was related to psychopathology, school problems, decreased academic achievement, and poor peer interaction in the CPS group, but with school problems in the PGE group. These findings suggest that CPS and PGE affect the normal maturation of children's discourse skills, albeit through different mechanisms. The relationship of thought disorder to behavioral, academic, and social problems implies that these discourse deficits are one component of the developmental disabilities or comorbidities associated with pediatric CPS and PGE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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