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A comprehensive neuropsychological description of cognition in drug-refractory juvenile myoclonic epilepsy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rhys ThomasORCiD


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The study of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is important in that: it is common and heterogeneous; the etiology is unknown; and patients report broad cognitive problems. We utilized a broad battery of neuropsychometric tests to assess the following: intellectual function, memory, language and naming, executive function, the impact of epilepsy, and antiepilepsy drug side effects. Sixty people with drug-refractory JME were interviewed, and performance was profoundly impaired across the range of tests. Impairments included the following: full-scale IQ (89, p. <. 0.001); processing speed (86, p. <. 0.001); visual memory (immediate and delayed) more affected than verbal memory; verbal fluency and inhibition (p. <. 0.001); and self-reported drug side effects (p. <. 0.001). Eighty-three percent of patients exhibited frank executive dysfunction, which was moderate to severe in 66%. Regression modeling confirmed that an early age at onset and the need for polytherapy were associated with poorer cognitive outcomes. This study confirms previous reports of executive dysfunction in a larger cohort and with greater statistical rigor. We also identified a high prevalence of neurotoxicity symptoms such as fatigue and poorer functioning across intellectual and memory tests than had previously been reported. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thomas RH, Walsh J, Church C, Marson AG, Baker GA, Rees MI

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Epilepsy and Behavior

Year: 2014

Volume: 36

Pages: 124-129

Print publication date: 01/07/2014

Online publication date: 02/06/2014

Acceptance date: 30/04/2014

ISSN (print): 1525-5050

ISSN (electronic): 1525-5069

Publisher: Academic Press Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.04.027

PubMed id: 24938758


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