Language development in Iranian children with epilepsy

  • Hamid Nemati
  • Maryam Jalalipour
  • Shadi Niliyeh
  • Behjat Maneshian
Keywords: Language Delay; Age of Onset; Children; Iran; Epilepsy


Background: Epilepsy is the most common pediatric neurologic disease accompanying with psychosocial delays causing a child’s isolation from the society. Developmental language delays are among the most common complaints of children with epilepsy. In the current study, verbal skills and expressive and receptive language development have been assessed in patients with epilepsy and compared with
age-matched normal group.

Methods: This case-control study was conducted on 78 2-5-year-old children with epilepsy and 78 age-matched normal children referred to the outpatient clinic of Imam Reza affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, in 2017-2018. Demographic information of cases (age, age of onset, type of seizure, and number of consumed remedies) and controls was gathered. In order to assess study population’s verbal, receptive, and expressive language development, Newsha growth measurement test, a validated Persian version of verbal language development questionnaire, was utilized.

Results: Comparison of children with epilepsy with normal controls showed a significant difference in spoken, expressive, and receptive language development between children with epilepsy and normal peers (P < 0.05). Spoken and receptive language developments were significantly in association with earlier age of onset, higher number of remedies received for seizure control, generalized type of seizures, and lacking of seizure control
(P < 0.05). Expressive language development showed no association with type and control of seizures
(P > 0.05) but had significant association with age of onset of epilepsy and number of remedies (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Assessment of verbal language development aspects among children with epilepsy showed a higher rate of delay among these children as compared with normal age-matched ones. Moreover, earlier age of onset, generalized type of seizures, higher number of consumed remedies, and poor seizure control were accompanied with higher and more severe speech and language delay.