A prospective 5-year longitudinal study detects neurocognitive and imaging correlates of seizure remission in self-limiting Rolandic epilepsy

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Self-limiting Rolandic epilepsy (RE) is the most common epilepsy in school-age children. Seizures are generally infrequent, but cognitive, language, and motor coordination problems can significantly impact the child’s life. To better understand brain structure and function changes in RE, we longitudinally assessed neurocognition, cortical thickness, and subcortical volumes.

At baseline, we recruited 30 participants diagnosed with RE and 24-healthy controls and followed up for 4.94 ± 0.8 years when the participants with RE were in seizure remission. Measures included were as follows: T1-weighted magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI) with FreeSurfer analysis and detailed neuropsychological assessments. MRI and neuropsychological data were compared between baseline and follow-up in seizure remission.

Longitudinal MRI revealed excess cortical thinning in the left-orbitofrontal (p = 0.0001) and pre-central gyrus (p = 0.044).

There is a significant association (p = 0.003) between a reduction in cortical thickness in the left-orbitofrontal cluster and improved processing of filtered words.

Longitudinal neuropsychology revealed significant improvements in the symptoms of developmental coordination disorder (DCD, p = 0.005) in seizure remission.

There is evidence for altered development of neocortical regions between active seizure state and seizure remission in RE within two clusters maximal in the left-orbitofrontal and pre-central gyrus. There is significant evidence for improvement in motor coordination between active seizures and seizure remission and suggestive evidence for a decline in fluid intelligence and gains in auditory processing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109397
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Early online date22 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

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