Recent research published by our team in Epilepsia Open suggests that there is impairment of the language network in children with Rolandic epilepsy. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) we analysed the brains activity at rest. In a comparison with healthy children, children with Rolandic epilepsy had decreased function in parts of the left frontal lobe and parietal lobes (see figure 1). These are regions involved in speech processing, language and reading. This research supports the idea of a delayed language development in children with Rolandic epilepsy and could explain the associated speech, language and reading problems.
Figure 1: The areas of decreased function in children with Rolandic epilepsy and how they are connected. Most of the dysfunction is in the left hemisphere and involves part of the language network (adapted from McGinnity et al 2017)
Decreased functional connectivity within a language subnetwork in benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (3rd March 2017)
Colm J. McGinnity, Anna B. Smith, Siti N. Yaakub, Sofia Weidenbach Gerbase, Anya Gammerman, Adam L. Tyson, Tiffany K. Bell, Marwa Elmasri, Gareth J. Barker, Mark P. Richardson, Deb K. Pal