Frontal and temporal lobe epilepsy in children has been less studied compared to that seen in adults. Children with epilepsy are at significant risk for cognitive impairment. Computerized batteries can record aspects of performance that are difficult for psychometrists to achieve with traditional tests. There has been recent interest in applying computerized technology to neuropsychological assessments, especially in epilepsy. We tested two children, one with frontal lobe epilepsy (three assessments) and one with temporal lobe epilepsy (two assessments) and compared their results between assessments. The cognitive evaluation included the Cambridge Neuropsychological Automated Testing Battery (CANTAB) and also IQ measured with Raven Progressive Matrices test. Two different patterns of cognitive functioning were obtained. Performance was different on some CANTAB tasks: lower in frontal and temporal tasks for the child with frontal epilepsy and with more specific deficits for the child with temporal lobe epilepsy. The cases studied revealed differences in cognitive function between assessments; the neuropathological substrate was also discussed. The findings highlight the benefit of using neuropsychological tests rather than general intellectual outcome alone, to obtain a better distinction of the specific cognitive weaknesses associated with epilepsy in children.
KEYWORDS: frontal and temporal lobe epilepsy, CANTAB, children, memory.