Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (2020-12-01)

Impaired Cognitive Abilities in Siblings of Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

  • Tan L,
  • Chen Y,
  • Wu W,
  • Liu C,
  • Fu Y,
  • He J,
  • Zhang M,
  • Wang G,
  • Wang K,
  • Long H,
  • Xiao W,
  • Xiao B,
  • Long L

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 16
pp. 3071 – 3079


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Langzi Tan, Yayu Chen, Wenyue Wu, Chaorong Liu, Yujiao Fu, Jialinzi He, Min Zhang, Ge Wang, Kangrun Wang, Hongyu Long, Wenbiao Xiao, Bo Xiao, Lili Long Department of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, People’s Republic of ChinaCorrespondence: Lili LongDepartment of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86 0731 84328888Fax +86 0731 84327332Email [email protected]: Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) are at high risk of cognitive impairment. In addition to persistent seizures and antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), genetic factors also play an important role in the progression of cognitive deficits in TLE patients. Defining a cognitive endophenotype for TLE can provide information on the risk of cognitive impairment in patients. This study investigated the cognitive endophenotype of TLE by comparing neuropsychological function between patients with TLE, their unaffected siblings, and healthy control subjects.Patients and Methods: A total of 46 patients with TLE, 26 siblings, and 33 control subjects were recruited. Cognitive function (ie, general cognition, short- and long-term memory, attention, visuospatial and executive functions, and working memory) was assessed with a battery of neuropsychological tests. Differences between groups were evaluated by analysis of covariance, with age and years of education as covariates. The Kruskal–Wallis test was used to evaluate data that did not satisfy the homogeneity of variance assumption. Pairwise comparisons were adjusted by Bonferroni correction, with a significance threshold of P< 0.05.Results: Patients with TLE showed deficits in the information test (P< 0.001), arithmetic test (P=0.003), digit symbol substitution test (P=0.001), block design test (BDT; P=0.005), and backward digit span test (P=0.001) and took a longer time to complete the Hayling test Part A (P=0.011) compared to controls. Left TLE patients tended to have worse executive function test scores than right TLE patients. The siblings of TLE patients showed deficits in the BDT (P=0.006, Bonferroni-corrected) relative to controls.Conclusion: Patients with TLE exhibit cognitive impairment. Executive function is worse in patients with left TLE than in those with right TLE. Siblings show impaired visuospatial function relative to controls. Thus, cognitive deficits in TLE patients have a genetic component and are independent of seizures or AED use.Keywords: temporal lobe epilepsy, cognitive impairment, endophenotype