Poster 66: Effects of Chronic Epilepsy on Neuropsychological Performance and Quality of Life in Greek Cypriot Patients.
Papacostas, Savvas S.
SourceArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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Objectives: To investigate the effects of epilepsy on neuropsychologic performance in Greek-Cypriot adults and to assess quality of life (QOL) in Greek-Cypriots with epilepsy. Design: Between-group experimental design. Setting: Standard clinical setting and neurologic and genetics institute. Participants: 30 Greek-Cypriot adults with chronic epilepsy (age range, 18−55y; mean age, 34.27±11.33y) and 25 neurologically healthy adults matched on age, sex, and education levels. Interventions: A battery of common neuropsychologic tests and 2 QOL measures were administered. Main Outcome Measures: Mini-Mental State Examination, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), Trail-Making Tests (TMT) Parts A and B, Rey complex figure test, verbal fluency, digit span forward and backward, spatial span forward and backward, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, and logical memory from the Wechsler Memory Scale, 3rd edition. In addition, the following QOL measures were used: World Health Organization Quality of Life−BREF and the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory. Results: Participants with epilepsy scored 1 SD lower and performed significantly lower (multivariate analysis of variance, α=.05) than normal cohorts on both verbal and nonverbal working memory measures (RAVLT, digit span forward and backward, visual span forward and backward, Rey complex figure test, paragraph recall immediate/delayed). In addition, performance was significantly lower (α=.05) on executive functioning and mental fluency tasks (Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Symbol Digits Modalities Test, TMT-A, TMT-B). Performance on executive tests correlated significantly (α=.05) with memory performance. In addition, there were significant differences in QOL dimensions relating to relationships. Conclusions: This first study with Greek-Cypriot patients suggests that chronic epilepsy affects several neurocognitive functions. The reduction in executive functioning interferes with the use of active memory strategies, thus contributing to the memory impairment. From a QOL standpoint, chronic epilepsy seems to influence important parameters such as interpersonal relationships. Implications for rehabilitation will be discussed.