OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of sleep quality on memory, executive function, and language performance in patients with refractory focal epilepsy and controlled epilepsy and compare these with healthy individuals.
METHODS: Researchers prospectively enrolled 37 adolescent and adult patients with refractory focal epilepsy (Group 1) and controlled epilepsy (Group 2) in each group. History pertaining to epilepsy and sleep were recorded, and all patients underwent overnight polysomnography. Language, memory, and executive function assessments were done using Western Aphasia Battery, Post Graduate Institute (PGI) memory scale, and battery of four executive function tests (Trail Making Test A & B, Digit symbol test, Stroop Task, and Verbal Fluency Test), respectively. Forty age- and sex-matched controls were also included in the study.
RESULTS: Significant differences were noted in both objective and subjective sleep parameters among all the groups. On polysomnography, parameters like total sleep time, sleep efficiency, sleep latency, and rapid eye movement (REM) latency were found to be significantly worse in Group 1 as compared with Group 2. Cognitive and executive parameters were significantly impaired in Group 1. Shorter total sleep time, poorer sleep efficiency, and prolonged sleep latencies were observed to be associated with poor memory and executive function in patients with refractory epilepsy.
SIGNIFICANCE: This study strongly suggests that sleep disturbances, mainly shorter total sleep time, poor sleep efficiency, and prolonged sleep latencies, are associated with impaired memory and executive function in patients with refractory focal epilepsy and to a lesser extent, among those with medically controlled epilepsy.