The relation between neuropsychological functioning and academic achievement and the role of family environment, seizures, and psychosocial variables were examined in 173 children with chronic epilepsy, ages 8 to 15 years, at Purdue School of Science; Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; and University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine, WI. Verbal/Memory/Executive function and Rapid Naming/Working Memory were strongly correlated with reading, math, and writing ability, whereas Psychomotor function predicted writing ability only. Family environment affected the impact of neuropsychological deficits (NPD) on writing and reading; NPD had a lesser impact on achievement of children from supportive/organized homes compared to unsupportive/disorganized homes. [1]

COMMENT. Children with epilepsy who have neuropsychological deficits and live in disorganized unsupportive home environments are particularly at risk for academic underachievement. Aggressive family intervention and counseling to provide more supportive environments might result in improved academic outcome. Involving the family in the learning process is known to benefit learning, and a more organized family life can promote better sleeping habits and full compliance with medication schedules.

Changes in left temporal interictal epileptiform activity during and after cognitive tasks are reported in an 18-year-old male with intractable complex partial seizures [2]. (See Ped Neur Briefs April 1994). Activation Or suppression of EEG focal spike discharges in relation to psychological testing may have a role in treatment of children with reading and other learning disabilities, and in presurgical assessment of patients with intractable epilepsy.