Authors: Ahmed Borai, Hanan Yousif Aly, Hazem K. Ibrahim
Objective: Cognitive impairments are common complaints among people with epilepsy with its occurrence to emanate a great topic in the course of the illness, so our study aimed to examine the executive functions in adult patients with idiopathic epilepsy. Methods: Forty consecutive adult patients with idiopathic epilepsy (either generalized or focal) with age range from 18 – 45 years old, IQ > 85, treated with either monotherapy or polytherapy, matched with forty healthy adult volunteers by age, sex and educational level. They were examined in executive functions tests: cognitive flexibility and set shifting (Wisconsin Card sorting Test), Planning (Tower of London), response inhibition (Continuous Performance Test) and working memory (verbal and visuospatial). Results: Patients with epilepsy showed deficits in all executive functions tests, with no difference between patients with generalized and focal epilepsy except for correct response time mean in CPT. There was significant positive correlation between frequency of seizures and mean total time, mean number of extra movies in TOL, in verbal working memory (digit back word), and omission errors in CPT; at the same time there was significant negative correlation between target accuracy rate and frequency of seizures in CPT, and in visuo-spatial part of working memory (Corsi Block-Tapping Test). Conclusion: Adult patients with idiopathic epilepsy had executive dysfunctions than healthy control, with no difference between generalized and focal epilepsy except for correct response time mean in CPT; the increase of the frequency of seizure is associated with impairment in planning, attention and working memory (either verbal or viuso-spatial).
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