Fronto-temporal brain volumes and their association with clinical and psychological variables in children, aged 7.5-11.8 years, with childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) were compared to age and gender-matched children without epilepsy. The CAE group (n=26) had significantly smaller gray matter volumes of the left orbital frontal gyrus and both temporal lobes vs controls (n=37). Brain volumes in CAE children were related to age, gender, ethnicity, and pregnancy complications but not to seizure, IQ, and psychopathology variables. In controls without epilepsy, brain volumes were related to IQ. [1]

COMMENT. This study supports the theory of an orbital frontal focus for CAE spikes [2], and a symptomatic localization related cause for CAE, Lack of an association between orbital frontal gyrus gray matter volumes and seizure variables suggests that an underlying neuropathology, not seizures, affects brain development in children with CAE.