There is no single cognitive profile of people with epilepsy. The relationship between epilepsy and the presence of mental retardation (learning disability) will mainly be mediated by the original brain damage causing both the epilepsy and the mental retardation. However, some patients do deteriorate intellectually if seizures are frequent or uncontrolled or if there are lapses into status epilepticus. In terms of partial seizures, the most common pattern is disturbance of verbal memory if there is a left temporal (dominant) focus and of non-verbal memory if there is a right focus.(58) Anticonvulsants themselves may mildly impair performance on a wide variety of intellectual, cognitive, and speeded tasks.
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