Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Cognitive dysfunction in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) – a tertiary care center study

 Department of Neurology, Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (GIPMER), New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Tanushree Chawla,
Department of Neurology, Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (GIPMER), New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_663_19

Background and Aim: Epilepsy often leads to cognitive impairment. Idiopathic generalized epilepsy as a group is considered to be benign in terms of its effects on cognition. Though, neuropsychological testing reveals subtle frontal impairment in patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME). The aim of this study is to evaluate cognitive dysfunction in patients with JME. Method: We compared 50 JME patients and 50 age and sex matched healthy controls above 12 years of age on various cognitive tests which included Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), Executive Interview (EXIT), PGI Memory Scale (PGIMS), Clock Drawing Test (CDT), Cube copying test (CCT), and Nahor Benson Test (NBT). We correlated the cognitive dysfunction with education level, age of onset, duration of epilepsy, electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities, treatment, and seizure control status. Results: JME patients performed significantly worse on MMSE (P = 0.001), PGI MS (P value = 0.001), FAB (P =.001), EXIT (P =.001), CDT (P =.02), and CCT (P =.001) when compared to the controls. JME patients had impaired attention, verbal fluency, design fluency, verbal memory, visual memory, conceptualization, set shifting, mental flexibility, response inhibition, and visuospatial functions. Cognitive dysfunction correlated with education level, duration of epilepsy and EEG abnormality. No correlation was seen with seizure frequency or type of antiepileptic therapy. Conclusions: JME patients demonstrate both frontal and parietooccipital lobe dysfunction. Hence detailed higher mental function tests supplemented by functional neuroimaging studies should be done in JME patients for their comprehensive management. This would also enhance our knowledge about the pathogenesis of JME.

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    -  Chawla T
    -  Chaudhry N
    -  Puri V
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