OBJECTIVE: Cognitive impairment is frequently observed in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. It is hypothesized that cumulative seizure exposure causes accelerated cognitive decline in patients with epilepsy. We investigated the influence of seizure frequency on cognitive decline in a rodent model for temporal lobe epilepsy.
METHODS: Neurobehavioral assessment was performed before and after surgery, after the induction of self-sustaining limbic status epilepticus (SSLSE), and in the chronic phase in which rats experienced recurrent seizures. Furthermore, we assessed potential confounders of memory performance.
RESULTS: Rats showed a deficit in spatial working memory after the induction of the SSLSE, which endured in the chronic phase. A progressive decline in recognition memory developed in SSLSE rats. Confounding factors were absent. Seizure frequency and also the severity of the status epilepticus were not correlated with the severity of cognitive deficits.
SIGNIFICANCE: The effect of the seizure frequency on cognitive comorbidity in epilepsy has long been debated, possibly because of confounders such as antiepileptic medication and the heterogeneity of epileptic etiologies. In an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy, we showed that a decrease in spatial working memory does not relate to the seizure frequency. This suggests for other mechanisms are responsible for memory decline and potentially a common pathophysiology of cognitive deterioration and the occurrence and development of epileptic seizures. Identifying this common denominator will allow development of more targeted interventions treating cognitive decline in patients with epilepsy. The treatment of interictal symptoms will increase the quality of life of many patients with epilepsy.
- Temporal lobe epilepsy
- SPONTANEOUS RECURRENT SEIZURES
- STATUS EPILEPTICUS
- ENTORHINAL CORTEX
- MEMORY IMPAIRMENT
- SPATIAL MEMORY
- RAT MODEL