Cognition and Brain Development in Children with Benign Epilepsy with Centrotemporal Spikes (BECTS)
Published Date:Sep 04 2015
Benign Epilepsy With Centrotemporal Spikes (BECTS)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4593750
Funding:3R01-ND44351/ND/ONDIEH CDC HHS/United States
R01 NS044351/NS/NINDS NIH HHS/United States
UL1 TR000427/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
UL1TR000427/TR/NCATS NIH HHS/United States
Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS), the most common focal childhood epilepsy, is associated with subtle abnormalities in cognition and possible developmental alterations in brain structure when compared to healthy participants as indicated by previous cross-sectional studies. To examine the natural history of BECTS, we investigated cognition, cortical thickness, and subcortical volumes in children with new/recent onset BECTS and healthy controls (HC).
Participants were 8–15 years of age, including 24 children with new onset BECTS and 41 age- and gender-matched HC. At baseline and two years later, all participants completed a cognitive assessment and a subset (13 BECTS, 24 HC) underwent T1 volumetric MRI scans focusing on cortical thickness and subcortical volumes.
Baseline cognitive abnormalities associated with BECTS (object naming, verbal learning, arithmetic computation, psychomotor speed/dexterity) persisted over two years, with the rate of cognitive development paralleling that of HC. Baseline neuroimaging revealed thinner cortex in BECTS compared to controls in frontal, temporal, and occipital regions. Longitudinally, HC showed widespread cortical thinning in both hemispheres, while BECTS participants showed sparse regions of both cortical thinning and thickening. Analyses of subcortical volumes showed larger left and right putamens persisting over two years in BECTS compared to HC.
Cognitive and structural brain abnormalities associated with BECTS are present at onset and persist (cognition) and/or evolve (brain structure) over time. Atypical maturation of cortical thickness antecedent to BECTS onset results in early-identified abnormalities that further continue to abnormally develop over time. However, cognition appears more resistant to further change over time compared to anatomical development.
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