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Seizure. 2013 Jul;22(6):424-32. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2012.08.011. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Computerized cognitive testing in epilepsy (CCTE): a new method for cognitive screening.

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Epilepsy Center, Department of Neurology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.



Optimized therapy in epilepsy should include individual care for cognitive functions. Here we introduce a computerized screening instrument, called "Computerized Cognitive Testing in Epilepsy" (CCTE), which allows for time-efficient repetitive assessment of the patient's cognitive profile regarding the domains of memory and attention, which are frequently impaired due to side effects of antiepileptic medication.


The CCTE battery takes 30min and covers tasks of verbal and figural memory, cognitive speed, attention and working memory. The patient's results are displayed immediately in comparison to age-related normative data. For evaluation of psychometrics and clinical correlations, data from patients of a tertiary referral epilepsy center (n=240) and healthy subjects (n=83) were explored.


CCTE subtests show good reliability and concurrent validity compared to standard neuropsychological tests (p<0.01). Adverse cognitive effects of antiepileptic medication can be detected (p<0.05), e.g. significant negative effects of increasing drug load. Specific epilepsy subgroups, e.g. focal versus primary generalized epilepsy or right versus left mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, showed different CCTE profiles.


CCTE appears valuable for early detection of individual cognitive alterations related to medication. In addition, it displays interesting differences between epilepsy syndromes. The CCTE battery provides a standardized, time- and personnel-efficient assessment of cognitive functions open to a large number of patients and applicable for clinical and scientific use in epilepsy.

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