Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to gain additional knowledge regarding the neurocognitive functioning of patients with Panayiotopoulos syndrome and to specifically address the associated visual deficits. Method: The data collected were archival and reported from pediatric neuropsychological evaluations (N = 3) that occurred in a children's hospital. Participants (ages 5, 8, and 10) were referred for evaluation by pediatric epileptologists following diagnosis with Panayiotopoulos syndrome by routine EEG or video EEG monitoring in an epilepsy-monitoring unit. All of the patients had bi-occipital spike and wave discharges. Results: The findings suggest the patients have notable impairments on visual memory tasks (x = 78), especially in comparison to verbal memory (x = 92). They showed increased difficulty on picture memory suggesting difficulty retaining information from a crowded visual field. Two of the three subjects showed weakness in visual processing speed (x = 78.5), which may account for weaker retention of complex visual stimuli. Abilities involving attention were normal for all patients suggesting that inattention is not responsible for these visual deficits. Intellectually, two of three patients had IQ's within the normal range. Academically, the patients were weak in numerical operations (x = 81) and spelling (x = 80.5); skills that rely on visual memory which may affect achievement in these areas. Conclusion(s): The results found in this study suggest that patients with Panayiotopoulos syndrome may have visual processing and visual memory deficits that could potentially affect their academic capabilities. Further research with a larger sample size is needed in order to determine whether these findings are representative of all pediatric patients with this syndrome.4