The spectrum of idiopathic Rolandic epilepsy syndromes and idiopathic occipital epilepsies: from the benign to the disabling.Epilepsia. 2006; 47 Suppl 2:62-6.E
Benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS) is an idiopathic focal epilepsy syndrome, the benign characteristics of which are debated; in fact, stable or intermittent specific neuropsychological deficits are frequent and may affect scholastic or adaptive abilities. Cognitive dysfunction may be related to a marked increment of the interictal epileptic discharges in NREM sleep: different degrees of neuropsychological deficits depend on the extent of awake and sleep activity and the predominant discharge localization. The age of onset and duration of atypical sleep EEG patterns may correlate with permanent cognitive impairments. These atypical clinical and EEG evolutions have been reported in the literature as different syndromes that constitute the spectrum of idiopathic rolandic epilepsy. Moreover, a clinical link between BCECTS and early-onset benign childhood occipital epilepsy has been demonstrated. According to the neurobiological approach, the spectrum of Idiopathic Rolandic Epilepsy is based on an age-dependent, idiopathic predisposition to focal seizures and sharp-wave discharges, as an expression of nonlesional cortical excitability. The involvement of a given area of the cerebral cortex may depend on the brain maturational stage.