Literature Monitor

Chronic Epilepsy Linked to Cognitive Deficits

Epilepsia; ePub 2017 Sept 4; Hermann et al.


Patients in their 50s who have chronic epilepsy seem to have cognitive deficits that may be linked to metabolic, inflammatory, and vascular abnormalities, according to a clinical study that included 40 patients with chronic localized epilepsy and 152 controls.

  • To reach that conclusion, researchers conducted neuropsychological assessment, clinical examination, and blood testing to evaluate patients’ vascular status.
  • The evaluation included systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), high density lipoprotein, homocysteine levels, and inflammatory markers including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and interleukin-6.
  • The metabolic assessment included measurement of insulin resistance by means of glucose levels and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).
  • Patients with epilepsy had impaired cognitive factor scores across the board.
  • These patients also had abnormal BMI, hs-CRP, fasting glucose, and HOMA-IR.
  • There was also a link between higher HOMA-IR and poor immediate memory and visuospatial ability.
  • Elevated hs-CRP was associated with poorer visuospatial and verbal abilities.

Hermann BP, Sager MA, Koscik RL, Young K, Nakamura K. Vascular, inflammatory, and metabolic factors associated with cognition in aging persons with chronic epilepsy. [Published online ahead of print Sept 4, 2017]. Epilepsia.

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