Language and reading in Benign partial epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS)/ Rolandic epilepsy (RE)

Language and reading in Benign partial epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS)/ Rolandic epilepsy (RE)

First Author: Gillian Francey -- Lancaster University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Nicola Currie; Kate Cain; Adina Lew
Keywords: Reading comprehension, Word reading, Language
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: Difficulties in reading comprehension can arise from either word reading or listening comprehension difficulties, or a combination of the two. Although BECTS is labelled as a ‘benign’ form of epilepsy, word reading difficulties have been reported. We undertook a comprehensive assessment of reading and reading-related skills in this population. We sought to determine the nature and source of any reading difficulties in children with BECTS.

Method: In this cross-sectional study, children with BECTS (n=25; 16 males, 9 females; mean age 9y 1mo, SD 1y 7mo) and a comparison group (n=39; 25 males, 14 females; mean age 9y 1mo, SD 1y 3mo) completed assessments of reading comprehension, listening comprehension, word/non-word reading, phonological processing skills, receptive vocabulary, grammar, and nonverbal IQ.

Results: Reading comprehension and word reading were worse in children with BECTS F(1, 61) = 6.89, p = 0.011, ηp2 = 0.10 and F(1, 61) = 6.84, p = 0.011, ηp2 = 0.10 respectively), with listening comprehension being marginal (F(1, 61) = 3.81, p = 0.055, ηp2 = 0.06). Word reading and listening comprehension made large and independent contributions to reading comprehension, explaining 70% of the variance. Of note, the phonological processing skills and oral language skills of the group with BECTS were also weak, but developmental trajectories indicated that performance was delayed rather than ‘deviant’.

Conclusions: Children with BECTS are at risk of reading difficulties and have concomitant weaknesses in underlying phonological and oral language skills.