Full-Length Original Research
Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors: A model for examining the effects of pathology versus seizures on cognitive dysfunction in epilepsy
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Epilepsia published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International League Against Epilepsy.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Volume 54, Issue 12, pages 2214–2218, December 2013
How to Cite
Epilepsia, 54(12):2214–2218, 2013
- Issue published online: 4 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 SEP 2013
- UCL Institute of Neurology
- Marvin Weil Epilepsy Research Fund
- Department of Health's NIHR Biomedical Research Centres
- Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor;
- IQ ;
- Cognitive function;
Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (DNTs) provide a unique model for studying the effects of seizures on cognitive development. Epilepsy and antiepileptic medications are prominent features in the lives and schooling of people who develop seizures in childhood. People with an adult onset share the same underlying brain pathology, but their childhood development is unaffected by seizures. Therefore, DNTs provide a model to examine the specific influence of seizures and their treatment on cognitive development, over and above the effects of the underlying pathology in epilepsy.
We examined the neuropsychological characteristics of 56 adults with DNT and medically intractable epilepsy (mean age 32.7 years). Twenty-two adults (39%) had an age of onset of epilepsy before the age of 12 years (childhood-onset group). Scores on tests of intelligence (Verbal IQ and Performance IQ), reading, working memory, verbal learning, verbal recall, visual learning, and expressive and receptive language ability were analyzed.
There were no significant localization effects (right vs. left vs. extratemporal) on any of the neuropsychological test scores. In the group as a whole, the neuropsychological test scores were significantly lower than healthy, age-matched controls on measures of Verbal IQ (p < 0.01), naming p < 0.01, verbal learning (p < 0.01), and working memory (p < 0.05). The childhood-onset group had significantly lower scores on the measures of Verbal IQ (p < 0.01), Performance IQ (p < 0.05), reading (p < 0.05), naming (p = 0.05), and verbal retention (p < 0.05) than those with an onset of seizures at the age of 12 or older.
The traditional pattern of lateralized memory deficits seen in people with hippocampal sclerosis may not be present in people with temporal lobe epilepsy associated with a DNT. The presence of seizures and their treatment in early childhood may adversely influence the development of these core cognitive abilities, resulting in patterns of cognitive deficits that remain apparent in adulthood.