The Neuropsychology of Pediatric Epilepsy and Antiepileptic Drugs

  • Thomas L. Bennett
  • Maile R. Ho
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


Epilepsy is a nervous system disturbance that abruptly interferes with ongoing behavior, perception, movement, consciousness, or other brain functions. Individual attacks are called seizures, and when the problem is consistent it is called either a seizure disorder or epilepsy. Seizures are relatively common among infants, children, and adolescents with Hauser (1994) estimating 30,000 newly diagnosed cases of epilepsy in children in the United States for 1990 alone. Probably 8 of every 1000 children experience some sort of seizure activity, even if it is only a single occurrence of a febrile seizure (Lechtenberg, 1984). Occasionally, a seizure disorder will disappear as a child matures, but in a majority of cases, epilepsy persists into adulthood, and in 80% of adults with epilepsy, this condition developed when they were children. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the neuropsychology of pediatric epilepsy, and the emphasis will be to discuss the emotional/behavioral and cognitive concomitants of epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). We use the term concomitants to underscore the fact that epilepsy is a complex phenomenon, and the behavioral and cognitive events associated with it are the product of a complex interaction among neurological, medication, and psychosocial variables (Hermann & Whitman, 1986).


Temporal Lobe Antiepileptic Drug Temporallobe Epilepsy Partial Seizure Seizure Frequency 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas L. Bennett
    • 1
  • Maile R. Ho
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColorado State UniversityFt. CollinsUSA

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