Prevalence of Epilepsy and Pathological Eeg Findings in a Norwegian Sample of Children with Fasd: Impact on Cognition, Adaptive Functioning
24 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2023
Introduction: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder describes a combination of developmental, cognitive and behavioural disabilities after prenatal alcohol exposure. Higher prevalence of epilepsies and pathological EEG have been reported. Our study aimed to examine the prevalence of epilepsy, changes on the EEG and its implication on cognitive and adaptive functioning.Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional study on 148 children with FASD, assessed multidisciplinary and with a 120-minute EEG recording. Group comparisons and regression analyses were performed to test the associations between epilepsy and EEG findings on FASD subgroups and neurocognitive performance in children with presence or absence of ADHD.Results: The incidence of epilepsy was 6% compared to 0.7% in Norway overall. Pathological EEG was seen in 22% while 17% had pathological EEG without an epilepsy. ADHD was confirmed in 64% of the children. Children with epilepsy and/or pathological EEG findings did not have lower cognitive and adaptive scores. However, significantly lower scores in IQ indices processing speed and working memory were found in children with frontal EEG-pathologies (without epilepsy) compared to FASD children without such findings, irrespective of ADHD.Conclusions: There was an increased prevalence of epilepsy. A high number of children in all FASD subgroups had pathological EEG-findings, even in absence of an epilepsy. Irrespective of epilepsy, ADHD and FASD subgroup, children with frontal EEG pathologies showed significantly reduced processing speed and working memory, which may indicate clinical significance and a possible target for intervention.
Funding Information: The study has received funding from the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
Ethical Approval Statement: The study was approved by the hospital's local Ethics Committee and by the Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics (no 2017/2404). The children's legal guardians agreed to participate in the study by signing the informed consent form. Children older than 16 years also signed the consent form.
Keywords: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy, EEG, Processing speed, Working memory
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