Children with new recent-onset juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) are more likely to have difficulty with executive, attention, and verbal faculties than their peers without epilepsy and are also more likely to use a greater number of academic services, researchers found. Study findings were reported in Pediatric Neurology.
Children between the ages of 8 and 18 years with recent-onset JME (n=41) and first-degree cousin controls (n=70) were enrolled from pediatric neurology clinics in Midwestern medical centers. All patients underwent a neuropsychological assessment battery that tested attention span; executive, verbal, and perceptual abilities; and speed. Additionally, researchers performed a structured review of participants’ need for supportive academic services and reviewed parent reports of both behavior and executive function (Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL] and Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function [BRIEF]). The researchers also performed a structured psychiatric interview and diagnosis (Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia—Present and Lifetime Version [K-SADS]).