J Clin Neurol.  2019 Oct;15(4):502-510. 10.3988/jcn.2019.15.4.502.

Language-Related White-Matter-Tract Deficits in Children with Benign Epilepsy with Centrotemporal Spikes: A Retrospective Study

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 4Department of Pediatrics, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea. sunjun@jbnu.ac.kr
  • 5Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 6Biomedical Research Institute of Chonbuk National University Hospital, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.


Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is one of the most common pediatric epilepsies, and it generally has a good prognosis. However, recent research has indicated that the epileptic activity of BECTS can cause cognitive defects such as language, visuospatial, and auditory verbal memory deficits. This study assessed language-delivery deficits in BECTS patients using diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI).
T1-weighted MRI, DTI, and language tests were conducted in 16 BECTS patients and 16 age-matched controls. DTI data were analyzed using the TRActs Constrained by Underlying Anatomy tool in FreeSurfer 5.3, and 18 major white-matter tracts were extracted, which included 4 language-related tracts: the inferior longitudinal fasciculus, superior longitudinal fasciculus-parietal terminations, superior longitudinal fasciculus-temporal terminations, and uncinate fasciculus (UNC). Language tests included the Korean version of the Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary Test, Test of Problem-Solving Abilities (TOPS), and the mean length of utterance in words.
The BECTS group exhibited decreased mean fractional anisotropy and increased mean radial diffusivity, with significant differences in both the superior longitudinal fasciculus and the left UNC (p<0.05), which are the language-related white-matter tracts in the dual-loop model. The TOPS language test scores were significantly lower in the BECTS group than in the control group (p<0.05).
It appears that BECTS patients can exhibit language deficits. Seizure activities of BECTS could alter DTI scalar values in the language-related white-matter tracts.


diffusion-tensor imaging; language test; dual-loop model
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