Brain and Behavior;8(5)
Objectives Executive problems in children and youth with epilepsy influence their ability to handle important aspects of daily life activities. The present study sought to explore factors associated with executive problems for patients with epilepsy in this age group. Methods The cohort consisted of 97 consecutive patients at the National Centre for Epilepsy in Norway, aged 10–19 years, with focal or genetic generalized epilepsy. All underwent tests of executive functions (D‐KEFS), the Behavior Rating Inventory for Executive Function (BRIEF), and screening for psychiatric symptoms, using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results Parent‐reported cognitive executive dysfunction (BRIEF, Metacognitive Index) was the strongest independent predictor for tested executive dysfunction and vice versa. Furthermore, male gender correlated strongest with parent‐reported behavioral regulation problems (BRIEF, Behavioral Regulation Index) along with borderline/pathological score on the SDQ and parent‐reported cognitive executive dysfunction. Conclusions A strong association between parent‐reported cognitive executive dysfunction and tested executive dysfunction was found. Male gender correlated strongest with parent‐reported behavioral regulation problems. The latter was probably related to a higher frequency of symptoms associated with psychopathology among the boys than the girls. The frequency of executive deficits according to the different modes of measurement varied from 16% to 43%, suggesting that they capture different aspects of behavior under the executive umbrella.
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