Evaluation of Children and Adolescents with Epilepsy

Evaluation of Children and Adolescents with Epilepsy

 

This research set out to determine if appropriate assessments in psychological and cognitive brain function weaknesses in children and adolescents with epilepsy may help to plan and track medical treatment and educational planning.

Context

Children with epilepsy have a range of cognitive ability, but tend to have more difficulty than healthy children.  A diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography can show children’s brain anatomy and any damage that may be present.  However, there are inconsistencies with the interpretation of the DTI tractography and its reliability in assessing damage.

Objective

To determine if the neuropsychological assessment (DTI tractography) helps children with epilepsy reach their academic and occupational potential.

Participants and Methods

There were 43 children with epilepsy who were assessed twice using the DTI tractography by experienced professionals.  Six different white matter tracts were examined.

Results and Conclusion

The results suggest that DTI tractography can help to assess damage to the brain in children with epilepsy.  It reliably measured the integrity of white matter structures in this sample.  Further studies in this area will be useful in answering clinical questions on white matter integrity.

Research by: Dr. Elisabeth Sherman and Dr. William MacAllister

Published in the Handbook on the Neuropsychology of Epilepsy and the Journal of Epilepsy & Behaviour