OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to investigate electroclinical and neuropsychological features, genetic background, and evolution of children with idiopathic encephalopathy with status epilepticus during slow sleep (ESES), including Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: All children diagnosed with idiopathic ESES at the Danish Epilepsy Centre between March 2003 and December 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. Repeated 24-hour electroencephalography (24-h EEG) recordings, neuropsychological assessments, and clinical-neurological evaluation were performed throughout the follow-up in all patients. In 13 children, genetic investigations were performed.
RESULTS: We collected 24 children (14 males and 10 females). Mean age at ESES diagnosis was 6 years, and mean ESES duration was 2 years and 7 months. Twenty-one children had epileptic seizures. Three children had LKS. Topography of sleep-related EEG epileptic abnormalities was diffuse in 3 subjects, hemispheric in 6, multifocal in 9, and focal in 6. During the active phase of ESES, all children presented with a heterogeneous combination of behavioral and cognitive disturbances. In 14 children, a parallel between severity of the clinical picture and spike-wave index (SWI) was observed. We could not find a strict correlation between the type and severity of neurobehavioral impairment and the side/topography of sleep-related EEG discharges during the active phase of ESES. At the last follow-up, 21 children were in remission from ESES. Complete recovery from neurobehavioral disorders was observed in 5 children. Genetic assessment, performed in 13 children, showed GRIN2A variant in two (15.4%).
SIGNIFICANCE: Our patients with idiopathic ESES showed a heterogeneous pattern of epileptic seizures, neurobehavioral disorders, and sleep EEG features. Only one-fourth of children completely recovered from the neuropsychological disturbances after ESES remission. Lack of correlation between severity/type of cognitive derangement and SWI and/or topography of sleep EEG epileptic abnormalities may suggest the contribution of additional factors (including impaired sleep homeostasis due to epileptic activity) in the neurobehavioral derangement that characterize ESES.