Title: Relationship between learning disabilities and the laterality of epileptic discharges in young patients with idiopathic focal epilepsy
Authors: Gharib Fawi, Al-Amir Bassiouny Mohamed, Alaaeldin Sedky, Ahmed Borai Hassan, Sania Gamal Abdelhameed, Ahmed Mahmoud Mosa, Ghada Mohamed Hussein
Background: Epilepsy is a common and serious neurological disorder. Children who suffer from epilepsy frequently exhibit learning difficulties (LDs) particularly marked in mathematics, reading, spelling and writing. These learning difficulties are different from mental retardation found in one third to one fourth of epileptic children. Conversely, up to half of epileptic patients have learning disabilities (LDs).
Method: This is a case-control study that included 56 patients (35 male and 21 female) and 36 Controls of healthy subjects (22 male and 14 female). Both patients and controls were age and sex matched. Included patients had focal epilepsy with age between 7 and 16 years and normal Intelligence quotient (IQ).
Results: The study included 56 patients with focal epilepsy and 36 healthy subjects with age and sex matched. LDs were present in 67.9 % of our participants. More than 50 % of patients had focal aware type of seizures and most of them were left focus (55.4%). LDs are significantly correlated with focal seizure semiology of temporal lobe (TL) origin. Laterality of epileptic focus is significantly related to learning difficulties, early age of onset, seizure frequency and semiology, long treatment duration and polytherapy but not an independent predictor of LDs. Specifically left temporal lobe epileptic focus was significantly associated with LDs.
Conclusion: There is a significant association between LDs and localization of epileptic focus in patients with idiopathic focal epilepsy.
Keywords: Learning difficulties, academic achievement, epileptic focus.