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Does Neuropsychological Test Performance Discriminate between Epilepsy and ADHD in Children?

27 July 2007


Epilepsy and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are associated with similar neuropsychological, educational, and psychosocial dysfunction, regardless of diagnostic classification of the epilepsy or subtype of the ADHD. The purpose of this archival study was to detelmine the whether neuropsychological cluster scores could discriminate between epilepsy and ADHD in this child clinical sample, whether the clusters yield discriminant predictive accuracy. Several researchers have demonstrated an increased likelihood of impaired neuropsychological functioning in children with seizure disorders and children with ADHD as compared to their typically developing peers. Several researchers have demonstrated that children with epilepsy are much more likely to have ADHD than children without seizures. Test scores from 427 screening batteries of neuropsychological tests administered to patients ages 6 to 17 were gathered from the archives of a psychologist's private practice in McMinnville, Oregon. The Parent Report of Psychosocial Functioning Cluster reflected weak discriminant predictive accuracy in assigning subjects to the Epilepsy, ADHD, and Epilepsy and ADHD groups, whereas there was no significant relationship between these diagnoses and the General Intelligence, Verbal Language, Attention, Executive Functions, Memory, Visual Perception, and Academic Achievement Clusters in this sample. Current results support the utility of garnering a thorough developmental history and report of current functioning from a parent or caregiver.


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