We have administered a neuropsychological assessment to a group of 14 patients affected by Nocturnal frontal epilepsy (NFE) aged 3.8÷17.2 years, during long term video-EEG monitoring. The psychological report is positive for attentional and scholastic difficulties spread to the whole sample, in absence of diagnosed learning disabilities. Afterwards, to compare the obtained data, we’ve administered the same protocol to a group matched to the sample for age and intellective quotient, suffering from epilepsy of different aetiologies. Most significant observations highlight: a) intelligence quotient on average, with a decrease of verbal competence; b) normal attention; c) mild executive impairment, more specific for verbal and planning of a strategic task abilities; d) some internalized behavioral components. These results would confirm the mildness of NFE on cognitive outcome in comparison to other forms of epilepsy, as well as the specific vulnerability of executive functions, and suggest some interpretation of NFE alternative to those of genetic aetiology.
Keywords: Nocturnal frontal epilepsy, neuropsychological assessment, executive functions, planning
Marco Gubernale, Claudia Costantini, Barbara Micoli, Susanna Negrin, Paolo Bonanni, Neuropsychology of cryptogenic nocturnal frontal epilepsy in infancy and adolescence in "CHILD DEVELOPMENT & DISABILITIES - SAGGI" Suppl. 3/2010, pp. 53-78, DOI:10.3280/CDD2010-S03004