Impaired language performance as a precursor or consequence of Rolandic epilepsy?

G. M. Overvliet*, A. P. Aldenkamp, S. Klinkenberg, J. S. H. Vles, J. Hendriksen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives: A correlation between language impairment and Rolandic epilepsy is frequently reported. It is unknown whether this language impairment develops gradually as a consequence of Rolandic epilepsy or precedes the onset of seizures. In the latter case both language impairment and Rolandic epilepsy may be symptoms of an underlying syndrome or both develop during the process of epileptogenesis. Methods: Non-comparative clinical cohort study of 48 children with Rolandic epilepsy (children's mean age is 9 years, and 7 months; SD is 1 year, and 8 months). They were screened for previous and current language impairment and their reading skills were examined. Results: 23% of children with Rolandic epilepsy had speech therapy in the past and 35% repeated a year on primary school, which is more often compared to the Dutch population of children. Their results on a reading task revealed lower scores. Conclusions: Language is impaired in children with Rolandic epilepsy. In some children this impairment of language may even be a precursor, for the Rolandic epilepsy. It is undecided however, whether the language impairment develops gradually after the onset of epilepsy, whether Rolandic epilepsy and language impairment are both symptoms of an underlying syndrome or both develop during the process of epileptogenesis as we observed in some children the onset of language impairment before the onset of epilepsy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-74
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2011


  • Rolandic epilepsy
  • Speech therapy
  • Language impairment
  • Precursor
  • Reading performance
  • Epilepsy

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