FULL-LENGTH ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Accelerated long-term forgetting in children with idiopathic generalized epilepsy
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2012
Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2012 International League Against Epilepsy
Volume 53, Issue 12, pages 2135–2140, December 2012
How to Cite
Gascoigne, M. B., Barton, B., Webster, R., Gill, D., Antony, J. and Lah, S. S. (2012), Accelerated long-term forgetting in children with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Epilepsia, 53: 2135–2140. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03719.x
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2012
- Accepted August 21, 2012; Early View publication October 12, 2012.
- Idiopathic generalized epilepsy;
- Accelerated forgetting;
Purpose: The rapid forgetting of information over long (but not short) delays (accelerated long-term forgetting [ALF]) has been associated with temporal lobe epilepsy but not idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE). Long-term memory formation (consolidation) is thought to demand an interaction between medial temporal and neocortical networks, which could be disrupted by epilepsy/seizures themselves. The present study investigates whether ALF is present in children with IGE and whether it relates to epilepsy severity.
Methods: Sixty-one children (20 with IGE and 41 healthy controls [HC]) of comparable age, sex, and parental socioeconomic status completed neuropsychological tests, including a measure of verbal learning and recall after, short (30-min) and long (7-day) delays, and recognition. Epilepsy severity was rated by treating neurologists.
Key Findings: A two-way repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) found a significant Group x Delay interaction; the children with IGE recalled (and recognized) significantly fewer words after a long, but not short (2- and 30-min) delay relative to the HC children. Moreover, greater epilepsy severity was associated with poorer recognition.
Significance: This study demonstrates, to our knowledge for the first time, that children with IGE present with ALF, which is related to epilepsy severity. These findings support the notion that epilepsy/seizures themselves may disrupt long-term memory consolidation, which interferes with day-to-day functioning of children with IGE.