Psychiatric and Behavioural Disorders in Children with Epilepsy (ILAE Task Force Report): Subtle behavioural and cognitive manifestations of epilepsy

Frank Besag*, Giuseppe Gobbi, Albert Aldenkamp, Rochelle Caplan, David W. Dunn, Matti Sillanpaa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)


A subtle behavioural or cognitive manifestation of epilepsy can be defined in two ways. First, epileptiform discharges not presenting as obvious seizures may nevertheless affect cognition and/or behaviour. Second, the actual seizures may be obvious but the way they affect cognition or behaviour may not be. There is a growing body of evidence indicating that the epileptiform discharges in benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes can affect behaviour and cognition. The focal discharges in other forms of epilepsy can also be associated with behavioural change. The Landau-Kleffner syndrome, the CSWS syndrome, transitory cognitive impairment and transient epileptic amnesia provide further examples of cognitive and behavioural manifestations resulting from subtle manifestations of the epilepsy. Prompt, effective antiepileptic treatment with medication or surgery can improve behaviour and cognition in at least some cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S49-S54
JournalEpileptic Disorders
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Rolandic
  • centrotemporal
  • absence
  • transitory
  • ESES
  • CSWS

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