Postoperative improvement of executive function and adaptive behavior in children with intractable epilepsy

Riyo Ueda, Yoshimi Kaga, Yosuke Kita, Miho Tanaka, Masaki Iwasaki, Eri Takeshita, Yuko Shimizu-Motohashi, Akihiko Ishiyama, Takashi Saito, Eiji Nakagawa, Kenji Sugai, Masayuki Sasaki, Takashi Okada, Masumi Inagaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: An alteration in postoperative cognitive function varies according to the patients’ background characteristics, such as etiology, focus, and seizure duration. Accurate prediction and assessment of postoperative cognitive function is difficult in each patient. Adaptive behavior could describe the typical performance of daily activities and represents the ability to translate cognitive potential into real-world skills. We examined the relationship between alterations of executive function (EF) and adaptive behavior in school children undergoing surgery for intractable epilepsy. Methodology: We enrolled 31 children with focal resection or corpus callosotomy for intractable epilepsy [mean age at surgery, 12.5 years; 16 boys; mean intellectual quotient, 73.3]. We surveyed answered questionnaires on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and adaptive behavior using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, 2nd edition (VABS-II), and performed continuous performance tests (CPTs) on children pre- and postoperatively. Result: ADHD and ASD symptoms improved after epilepsy surgery. The omission error (OE) in the CPT variable improved after epilepsy surgery, especially in children with a shorter preoperative period. Improved ASD symptoms led to an increased score of the coping skills subdomain. The reduced OE observed after surgery also increased the score of the community skills subdomain. Conclusion: Improvement in EF and ASD symptoms resulted in better adaptive behavior postoperatively. These results were important for the pre- and postoperative evaluation and re-evaluation of children with epilepsy requiring special education and related services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive behavior
  • Children
  • Epilepsy
  • Executive function
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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