Document Type : Original Article


1 Shiraz Neuroscience Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Rehabilitation Sciences Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran Department of Speech Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Epilepsy is the most common pediatric neurologic disease accompanying with psychosocial delays causing a child’s isolation from the society. Developmental language delays are among the most common complaints of children with epilepsy. In the current study, verbal skills and expressive and receptive language development have been assessed in patients with epilepsy and compared with age-matched normal group.
Methods: This case-control study was conducted on 78 2-5-year-old children with epilepsy and 78 age-matched normal children referred to the outpatient clinic of Imam Reza affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, in 2017-2018. Demographic information of cases (age, age of onset, type of seizure, and number of consumed remedies) and controls was gathered. In order to assess study population’s verbal, receptive, and expressive language development, Newsha growth measurement test, a validated Persian version of verbal language development questionnaire, was utilized.
Results: Comparison of children with epilepsy with normal controls showed a significant difference in spoken, expressive, and receptive language development between children with epilepsy and normal peers (P < 0.05). Spoken and receptive language developments were significantly in association with earlier age of onset, higher number of remedies received for seizure control, generalized type of seizures, and lacking of seizure control (P < 0.05). Expressive language development showed no association with type and control of seizures (P > 0.05) but had significant association with age of onset of epilepsy and number of remedies (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Assessment of verbal language development aspects among children with epilepsy showed a higher rate of delay among these children as compared with normal age-matched ones. Moreover, earlier age of onset, generalized type of seizures, higher number of consumed remedies, and poor seizure control were accompanied with higher and more severe speech and language delay.


  1. Aaberg KM, Gunnes N, Bakken IJ, Lund SC, Berntsen A, Magnus P, et al. Incidence and prevalence of childhood epilepsy: A nationwide cohort study. Pediatrics 2017; 139(5): e20163908.
  2. Fiest KM, Sauro KM, Wiebe S, Patten SB, Kwon CS, Dykeman J, et al. Prevalence and incidence of epilepsy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of international studies. Neurology 2017; 88(3): 296-303.
  3. Karnavat PK, Hegde AU, Kulkarni S. Quality of life in children with epilepsy in private and public tertiary care centers in India. Int J Epilepsy 2018; 5(1): 28-37.
  4. Bourgeois BF, Prensky AL, Palkes HS, Talent BK, Busch SG. Intelligence in epilepsy: A prospective study in children. Ann Neurol 1983; 14(4): 438-44.
  5. Austin JK, Harezlak J, Dunn DW, Huster GA, Rose DF, Ambrosius WT. Behavior problems in children before first recognized seizures. Pediatrics 2001; 107(1): 115-22.
  6. Jackson DC, Jones JE, Hsu DA, Stafstrom CE, Lin JJ, Almane D, et al. Language function in childhood idiopathic epilepsy syndromes. Brain Lang 2019; 193: 4-9.
  7. Jackson DC. Childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes: Perhaps not so benign after all. Epilepsy Behav 2015; 45: 92-3.
  8. Jafari Z, Ashayeri H, Malayeri S, Ala Aldini F. Translation, reliability and validity of the Newsha Hearing, Language and Speech Development Scale among children in Iran. Payesh 2009; 8(3): 271-8. [In Persian].
  9. Bartha-Doering L, Trinka E. The interictal language profile in adult epilepsy. Epilepsia 2014; 55(10): 1512-25.
  10. Byars AW, deGrauw TJ, Johnson CS, Perkins SM, Fastenau PS, Dunn DW, et al. Language and social functioning in children and adolescents with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav 2014; 31: 167-71.
  11. Jurkeviciene G, Endziniene M, Laukiene I, Saferis V, Rastenyte D, Plioplys S, et al. Association of language dysfunction and age of onset of benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes in children. Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2012; 16(6): 653-61.
  12. Selassie GR, Viggedal G, Olsson I, Jennische M. Speech, language, and cognition in preschool children with epilepsy. Dev Med Child Neurol 2008; 50(6): 432-8.
  13. Yanli M, Kaili X, Chen G. Association of language dysfunction and age of onset of benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes in children. Chinese Pediatric Emergency Medicine 2014; 21(8): 513-6. [In Chinese].
  14. Monjauze C, Broadbent H, Boyd SG, Neville BG, Baldeweg T. Language deficits and altered hemispheric lateralization in young people in remission from BECTS. Epilepsia 2011; 52(8): e79-e83.
  15. Monjauze C, Tuller L, Hommet C, Barthez MA, Khomsi A. Language in benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes abbreviated form: rolandic epilepsy and language. Brain Lang 2005; 92(3): 300-8.
  16. Vannest J, Maloney TC, Tenney JR, Szaflarski JP, Morita D, Byars AW, et al. Changes in functional organization and functional connectivity during story listening in children with benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes. Brain Lang 2019; 193: 10-7.
  17. Smith AB, Bajomo O, Pal Deb K. A meta-analysis of literacy and language in children with rolandic epilepsy. Dev Med Child Neurol 2015; 57(11): 1019-26.
  18. Sutula TP, Hagen J, Pitkanen A. Do epileptic seizures damage the brain? Curr Opin Neurol 2003; 16(2): 189-95.
  19. Aldenkamp AP, Alpherts WC, Sandstedt P, Blennow G, Elmqvist D, Heijbel J, et al. Antiepileptic drug-related cognitive complaints in seizure-free children with epilepsy before and after drug discontinuation. Epilepsia 1998; 39(10): 1070-4.
  20. Deonna TW. acquired epileptiform aphasia in children (Landau-Kleffner syndrome). J Clin Neurophysiol 1991; 8(3): 288-98.
  21. Schoenfeld J, Seidenberg M, Woodard A, Hecox K, Inglese C, Mack K, et al. Neuropsychological and behavioral status of children with complex partial seizures. Dev Med Child Neurol 1999; 41(11): 724-31.
  22. Wheless J, Butler I. Language dysfunction in epileptic conditions. Semin Pediatr Neurol 2002; 9(3): 218-28.
  23. Dunn DW, Johnson CS, Perkins SM, Fastenau PS, Byars AW, deGrauw TJ, et al. Academic problems in children with seizures: Relationships with neuropsychological functioning and family variables during the 3 years after onset. Epilepsy Behav 2010; 19(3): 455-61.