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Cognitive functioning in a representative cohort of preschool children with febrile seizures

Journal article
Authors Eva Billstedt
Gill Nilsson
Lotta Leffler
Lisa Carlsson
Ingrid Olsson
Elisabeth Fernell
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Acta Paediatrica
ISSN 0803-5253
Publication year 2019
Published at Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.15059
Keywords cognitive test data, febrile seizures, IQ, preschool children, processing speed, school-aged children, active epilepsy, memory, comorbidities, recognition, convulsions, outcomes, Pediatrics
Subject categories Pediatrics

Abstract

Aim To analyse cognitive functioning in 4-5-year-old children who had experienced febrile seizures (FS) and to assess the importance of complex, recurrent and early vs late onset FS. Methods The sample consisted of 73 children, screen positive for FS, drawn from the general child population of 4-year-old children attending their health check-up at child healthcare centres in Gothenburg, Sweden. They were assessed as regards general cognitive ability, visual memory and attention and were contrasted with age norms and with results obtained in 20 children without FS from the same healthcare centres. Results Of the 73 children, two had a previously diagnosed intellectual disability (ID) (one mild, one moderate) and two further children tested within the study had results corresponding to mild ID. Children with early onset of FS (before age 12 months)-who often had recurrent FS-had lower full-scale, verbal and processing speed IQ than those who had later onset of FS. Conclusion Children with early onset of FS and particularly those with recurrent FS may be at increased risk for poorer verbal and processing speed functioning and therefore at risk of developing cognitive, executive dysfunctions. They would probably benefit from neuropaediatric and neuropsychological follow-up.

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