Affiliations: Department of Neurology, Bangur Institute of Neurosciences, IPGME&R, The West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal, India | Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, IPGME&R, The West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Note:  Corresponding author: Dr. Debabrata Chakraborty, Beliaghata Main Road, 700010, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Tel.: +91 33 2223 7722; Fax: +91 33 2223 6677; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Around 50% of epilepsy begins in childhood or adolescence. Behavioral and cognitive problems are encountered in 20–30% of them. There are only few studies on this subject from India. Aims of the study were to determine the frequency and spectrum of behavioral disorders and cognitive impairment in school going epileptic children (4–15 yr). Patients were selected from the Epilepsy Clinic, Neurology Indoor and Outpatient Department of Bangur Institute of Neurosciences. Children with low intelligence quotient, having medical co-morbidities were excluded. Behavioral impairment was assessed by Childhood Behavior Checklist score. Cognitive impairment was assessed by comparing the rank and attendance of the student before and after the seizure onset from interview and by modified National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences battery scale. Results showed that out of 150 children, 68.70% had generalized and 31.30% had localization related epilepsy. Aggressive and destructive behavior was mostly noted in children in the age group 4–6 yr and those on polytherapy having longer duration and increased frequency of seizure. Overall, cognitive impairment was present in 54% of children and with sustained attention being mostly affected. We concluded in this preliminary observational study that behavioral abnormality was present in 74% epileptic children and 8% of controls; cognitive impairment in the form of ill-sustained attention in 78.75% cases and 0.60% controls.
Keywords: School children, epilepsy, behavioral disorder, cognitive dysfunction