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Language dysfunction in children may be due to epileptic brain activity
Date:4/19/2010

Epileptic activity in the brain can affect language development in children, and EEG registrations should therefore be carried out more frequently on children with severe language impairment to identify more readily those who may need medical treatment, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.

The thesis studied 60 children of varying ages, divided into groups. The first group comprised children with language dysfunction, for example children with slow speech development who find it difficult to express themselves or who have an inadequate langugage comprehension.

The second group consisted of children with epilepsy, while the third comprised children with language dysfunction and epileptic brain activity, sometimes without epileptic seizures. The study was carried out in conjunction with speech and language pathologists, pediatric neurologists and neuropsychologists at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital in Gothenburg.

"We reviewed patient records of children with residual speech and language problems at school start, and could see that these children also had other underlying problems," says Gunilla Rejn-Habte Selassie, speech and language pathologist and researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation.

The study showed that epilepsy (with seizures) and epileptic brain activity with or without seizures were more common in these children than in children in general. The researchers then wanted to investigate whether the epileptic activity was the cause of the children's language dysfunction or whether other factors affected their language development.

"So we also looked at speech and language ability in preschool children with various forms of epilepsy," says Gunilla Rejn-Habte Selassie. "We found that these children had certain language problems they found it difficult to express themselves but had a good understanding of language." The greatest pro
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Contact: Gunilla Rejno-Habte Selassie
gunilla.rejno-habte-selassie@vgregion.se
46-317-866-889
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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