OBJECTIVES: Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (LKS) is an epileptic syndrome characterised by a deficit in language comprehension and production, paroxysmal epileptiform activity in the posterior temporal leads, and by the inconsistent presence of epileptic fits. Its interest lies in the fact that it stands as a model for the study of interference of epileptiform activity on cognitive function, although the pathophysiology of the decline in language skills that follows its onset has not yet been clarified. METHODS: We have recorded spike-triggered auditory evoked responses in a group of 6 children with LKS, to investigate whether the occurrence of individual EEG paroxysms is able per se to induce a decline in the response of the auditory cortex. RESULTS: Results have indicated that left hemisphere spikes are associated with a greater reduction in amplitude and an increase in latency of the NI, than spikes occurring in the right hemisphere. No stable change in the evoked response has been detected outside of the EEG paroxysm. CONCLUSIONS: We postulate EEG interictal activity is able to induce impairment in processing auditory information and that this may play a role in the pathogenesis of language deficit in LKS.
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