Cognitive phenotypes in childhood idiopathic epilepsies

Bruce P. Hermann, Qianqian Zhao, Daren C. Jackson, Jana E. Jones, Kevin Dabbs, Dace Almane, David A. Hsu, Carl E. Stafstrom, Monica A. Koehn, Michael Seidenberg, Paul J. Rathouz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective The objective of this study was to identify cognitive phenotypes in children with new-onset focal and generalized idiopathic epilepsies and determine their relationship with epilepsy syndrome, brain structure, neurodevelopmental history, and family characteristics. Methods One hundred thirty-eight children with new-onset epilepsy and 95 controls (age: 8–18) underwent neuropsychological, clinical, and quantitative MR evaluations. Control participants' neuropsychological data were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis and then resultant factor scores were applied to participants with epilepsy and subjected to latent class analysis. Identified cognitive phenotypes were examined in relation to epilepsy syndrome, quantitative neuroimaging, and familial and neurodevelopmental variables. Results Confirmatory factor analysis identified five cognitive factors (verbal, perceptual, speed, attention, executive), and latent class analysis identified three clusters of participants with epilepsy: 1) average and similar to controls, 2) mild impairment across multiple cognitive domains, and 3) impairment across all domains with severe attentional impairment, representing 44%, 44%, and 12% of the epilepsy sample, respectively. Cognitive phenotype membership was not associated with epilepsy syndrome but was associated with increasing abnormalities in brain structure, parental IQ, and features of early developmental history. Significance Cognitive phenotypes are present in idiopathic childhood epilepsies that are unassociated with traditional epilepsy syndromes but are associated with measures of brain structure, family history, and neurodevelopmental features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Children
  • Cognition
  • Epilepsy
  • New-onset
  • Phenotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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