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Auditory Event-Related Potentials in children with benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes

Auditory Event-Related Potentials in children with benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes

David Toméemail, Mafalda Sampaio, José Mendes-Ribeiro, Fernando Barbosa, João Marques-Teixeira
Epilepsy Research



  • BECTS group revealed high amplitude of N2b to deviant consonant-vowel stimuli at Fz and Cz electrodes compare to control group;.
  • Mild reduced amplitudes of N1 were found to pure-tone stimuli in BECTS group from Fpz, Fz, and Cz compare to control group;.
  • Results suggest a deficit in auditory novelty detection and orienting response, with a potential failure of inhibitory mechanisms, as reflected by decreased N1 and an enhancement of N2b component to speech stimuli.
  • AERPs are a good tool to reliably detect cortical excitability in BECTS.

Benign focal epilepsy in childhood with centro-temporal spikes (BECTS) is one of the most common forms of idiopathic epilepsy, with onset from age 3 to 14 years. Although the prognosis for children with BECTS is excellent, some studies have revealed neuropsychological deficits in many domains, including language. Auditory event-related potentials (AERPs) reflect activation of different neuronal populations and are suggested to contribute to the evaluation of auditory discrimination (N1), attention allocation and phonological categorization (N2), and echoic memory (mismatch negativity - MMN). The scarce existing literature about this theme motivated the present study, which aims to investigate and document the existing AERP changes in a group of children with BECTS.

AERPs were recorded, during the day, to pure and vocal tones and in a conventional auditory oddball paradigm in five children with BECTS (aged 8-12; mean = 10 years; male = 5) and in 6 gender and age-matched controls. Results revealed high amplitude of AERPs for the group of children with BECTS with a slight latency delay more pronounced in fronto-central electrodes.

Children with BECTS may have abnormal central auditory processing, reflected by electrophysiological measures such as AERPs. In advance, AERPs seem a good tool to detect and reliably reveal cortical excitability in children with typical BECTS.

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