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Study: "Location of seizures varies risk of learning disabilities"

13 October, 2004

People who have
uncontrolled seizures on the left side of their brains are more likely
to have learning disabilities, in comparison to people who have
seizures on the right side of their brains, according to research
published in the journal Epilepsia.

In the study conducted at the Louisiana State University Epilepsy Center of Excellence,
adult patients of normal intelligence with either left temporal lobe
epilepsy (TLE) or right TLE were evaluated with reading comprehension,
written language and calculation tests. The Center's researchers found
that 75 per cent of patients with left TLE had one or more learning
disabilities. This was found in only 10 per cent of those with right
TLE. Additionally, those with left TLE reported higher rates of
literacy and/or career development problems, such as a history of
special education, repeating grades or disrupted educational progress.

The
researchers, led by Dr Grant Butterbaugh, director of the LSU Epilepsy
Center's Neuropsychology Program, wrote that left temporal lobe seizure
onset was associated with higher risk of learning disabilities,
consistent with the disruptive impact of medically well treated but
uncontrolled seizures in the "language dominant" side of the brain.