El vínculo entre la Epilepsia y la Neuropsicología

The link between Epilepsy and Neuropsychology


Today, the second Monday of February we celebrate the International Epilepsy Day. Thats why we decided to dedicate a post on the relationship between neuropsychology and this disease.

Epilepsy, like any other chronic disease, affects everyday´s life of people suffering from it: medication, limited activities to do, unpredictable crisis, social stigma  and- among others- cognitive affectation, and we will focus on this.

Cognitive affectation could be related to two types of factors:

  • Own process factors: initial age, crisis´ kind and frequency, etiology, possible associated brain damage, etc.
  • Medication related factors: dosage, kind of drug, monotherapy or polytherapy, other associated drugs, etc..

We have to emphasize that today it is still complex and rarely known to link epilepsy, its treatment and cognitive decline. That´s why we still need more studies to delve into it.

Specifically, we want to focus on one neuropsychological intervention field which is the surgery treatment of the disease. Surgery is one of the more efficient approaches to those cases when the crisis´ origin lies in the temporal lobe and drugs are not effective. In these kind of surgeries a multidisciplinary team is required, and the neuropsychologist plays a key role in it. his tasks lies in making the pre surgical assessment of the eligible patients, helping to pinpoint the epilepsy focus and to determine the preserved and the affected functions.   This will enable him or her to assess the cognitive decline or recovery risks after the surgery, because not always is advisable to undertake this surgery.  After the surgery, the role of the neuropsychologist is still important to evaluate its results, monitoring the cognitive and functional states of the patient and  carrying the required intervention to ensure the patient´s quality of life.

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