Assessment of cognitive and motor development in 150 children with refractory epilepsy
Mohammad Mehdi Nasehi
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Objective: Neuropsychological impairment is an important co-morbidity of chronic epilepsy. The aim of this study was to determine the state of the cognitive and motor development of patients with refractory epilepsy. Materials & Methods: We studied 150 consecutive children with epilepsy who were referred to Mofid Children Hospital, a third level public referral University Hospital in Tehran, Iran, from October 2007 to October 2008. Refractory epilepsy was defined as therapeutic failure of three antiepileptic drugs which were used appropriately. Data regarding sex, age, age at which the first seizure occurred, microcphaly, muscle tonicity, EEG findings, kind of treatment for controlling seizures and cognitive and motor development delay were collected from medical records. Development delay was defined as delay in acquiring cognitive ability and motor skills for age according to the Denver Scale II. Results: Of 150 patients 72% were younger than 2 years old and 56.7% were male. About 35.3% were microcephalic while 76% had normal muscular tonicity. Only 2.7% had normal EEGs. About 37.3% showed a good response to anticonvulsive drugs and became seizure free, 13.3% showed a relative response to anticonvulsants but 49.3% did not respond. In the present study, 68% had cognitive developmental delay and 60.7% suffering motor delay. There was a significant difference in response to treatment between patients with cognitive and motor development delay Conclusion: Cognitive developmental delay was more frequent in patients with refractory epilepsy, suggesting that early cognitive screening and introduvtion of rehabilitation programs are necessary for patients with refractory epilepsy.