Memory and Health-Related Quality of Life in Severe Pediatric Epilepsy

Alberta Health Services and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 01/2013; 131(2). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-1428
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Objectives:
The purpose of this paper was to investigate the contributions of sociodemographic, neurologic, and neuropsychological variables to health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children with epilepsy and high seizure burden. Focus was placed on the relationship between memory and HRQoL, which has not been previously investigated.

Ninety children with epilepsy receiving clinical care at a tertiary-level children's hospital were retrospectively identified. Primary assessment measures were verbal memory (California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version) and HRQoL. Other neuropsychological variables included intellectual function, executive function, emotional and behavioral function, and adaptive function. Sociodemographic and neurologic variables were extracted from chart review.

No significant correlations were found between HRQoL and sociodemographic or neurologic variables. Moderate correlations were found between neuropsychological variables and HRQoL. Emotional function (Child Behavior Checklist) and verbal memory (California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version) emerged as significant predictor variables of HRQoL. Low verbal memory was associated with a twofold risk of low HRQoL, emotional and behavioral difficulty with a 10-fold risk, and the combination of emotional and behavioral difficulty and low verbal memory with a 17-fold risk.

Verbal memory and emotional and behavioral difficulty are associated with increased risk of low HRQoL, even when other important variables are considered in children with high seizure burden. The results reinforce the importance of neuropsychological assessment in clinical care in pediatric epilepsy and suggest important areas of focus for psychological intervention.

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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological syndrome that is accompanied by abnormal, synchronic and exaggerated discharges in the cerebral cortex. Epilepsy is inversely related to health-related quality of life (HRQL), although little has been published on this relationship in children in Latin America. AIM. To examine the relation between epilepsy and HRQL in a group of schoolchildren aged 8-12 years who were treated in a paediatric hospital in Sonora, Mexico. PATIENTS AND METHODS. A cross-sectional study was conducted to compare the HRQL of children diagnosed with epilepsy with respect to the HRQL of two control groups. The validated questionnaire Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory was used to evaluate HRQL. Differences were examined by means of an ANOVA test and the association between epilepsy and HRQL was modelled by means of multiple logistic regression. RESULTS. The children with epilepsy displayed the lowest HRQL score (62.4 ± 14.8) of the subjects studied and had 5.2 times as much risk of their HRQL deteriorating (95% confidence interval = 2.43-11.06) compared to healthy children. Deterioration was greater on the cognitive (54.6 ± 15.0) and emotional scales (55.9 ± 23.6). Polypharmacy, i.e. the concomitant ingestion of three or more drugs (p < 0.001), and the chronological progression of suffering (p < 0.001) are factors that significantly deteriorate the HRQL of children with epilepsy. CONCLUSIONS. Epilepsy gives rise to an overall deterioration in the HRQL of children, specifically in the cognitive and emotional spheres, which is related with the chronological progression of the disease and polypharmacy.
    Revista de neurologia 07/2014; 59(2):63-70. · 0.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose We aimed to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of schoolchildren with epilepsy and its determinants and the HRQoL of their parents in comparison with those of healthy children and their parents. Materials and methods The study sample comprised 100 children with epilepsy (58 males), 8–16 years of age, diagnosed at least 6 months earlier. The children with epilepsy were divided into two subgroups: A, with well controlled idiopathic epilepsy, and B, with drug-resistant or symptomatic epilepsy and with concomitant neurodevelopmental problems. A control group consisted of 100 healthy age- and gender-matched children. One parent in each family completed two questionnaires standardized for use in Greece: KIDSCREEN-27 (version for parents) to assess the HRQoL of the children and SF-12 to assess the parental HRQoL. For each of the five dimensions of KIDSCREEN-27 and for the physical and mental component scales of the SF-12 tool, the standardized mean difference (SMD) was used for comparison between the various groups and subgroups. Linear regression analysis was used to explore the effect of specific illness-related factors on the five dimensions of KIDSCREEN-27 in the children with epilepsy. Results The parent-reported scores on KIDSCREEN-27 of the children with epilepsy were worse overall than those of healthy children, but the difference reached statistical significance only for the dimensions of “physical well-being” (p = 0.001) and “school environment” (p < 0.001). The differences were greater in adolescents (age group: 13.5–16 years). The worst scores were recorded in subgroup B, the children with severe epilepsy, in the dimensions “physical well-being” (p < 0.001), “school environment” (p < 0.0001), and “peers and social support” (p = 0.044). The factors found to have a significant effect on all dimensions were mental retardation, physical disability, abnormal brain imaging findings, learning problems, and, to a lesser degree, administration of a large number of antiepileptic drugs and prolonged treatment. The parents of children with resistant epilepsy and accompanying neurodevelopmental problems scored significantly worse on the SF-12 mental health scale than those of healthy children (p < 0.001). Conclusions Epilepsy, particularly severe epilepsy with concomitant neurodevelopmental problems, adversely affects the HRQoL of both schoolchildren and their parents.
    Epilepsy & Behavior 09/2014; 41:11–17. DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.09.009 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Research suggests an increased risk for cognitive impairment in childhood epilepsy with memory being one area of cognition most likely to be affected. Understanding the prevalence and predictors of memory difficulties may help improve awareness of the difficulties and allow efficacious supports to be put in place. Method A systematic review was carried out using the search terms ‘memory’, ‘children’ and ‘epilepsy’ in the database PUBMED. Eighty-eight studies met inclusion criteria. The review focuses on comparisons of memory scores of children with epilepsy and controls, and comparison of memory scores of children with epilepsy to normative scores. Predictors of memory impairment and the effect of surgery on memory functioning are also reviewed. Results The majority (78%) of studies reviewed revealed that children with epilepsy scored lower than controls and normative scores on measures of memory. Post-surgery, memory scores were reported to improve in 50% of studies. Predictors of memory impairment included a greater number of AEDs used, younger age of onset, increased seizure frequency and longer duration of epilepsy. Conclusion Children with epilepsy have a high frequency of memory impairments. However, the exact prevalence of difficulties is not clear due to the lack of population-based data. Most studies have not controlled for IQ and thus it is unclear if difficulties are always related to global cognitive difficulties. There is need for future population-based studies and studies focussing on the neurobiology of memory problems in children with epilepsy.
    Seizure 10/2014; 25. DOI:10.1016/j.seizure.2014.10.002 · 1.82 Impact Factor
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