Open Access Research article

Quality of life in childhood epilepsy with lateralized epileptogenic foci

Krystyna A Mathiak123*, Małgorzata Łuba2, Klaus Mathiak34, Katarzyna Karzel2, Tomasz Wolańczyk5, Elżbieta Szczepanik6 and Paweł Ostaszewski2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

2 Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw, Poland

3 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

4 INM-1, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany

5 Department of Child Psychiatry, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland

6 Clinic of Neurology of Children and Adolescents, Institute of Mother and Child, Warsaw, Poland

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BMC Neurology 2010, 10:69  doi:10.1186/1471-2377-10-69

Published: 17 August 2010



Measuring quality of life (QOL) helps to delineate mechanisms underlying the interaction of disease and psychosocial factors. In adults, epileptic foci in the left temporal lobe led to lower QOL and higher depression and anxiety as compared to the right-sided foci. No study addressed the development of QOL disturbances depending on the lateralization of epileptogenic focus. The objective of our study was to examine QOL in children with lateralized epileptiform discharges.


Thirty-one parents of children with epilepsy filled the Health-Related Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy Questionnaire (QOLCE). Fifteen children had foci in the left hemisphere and sixteen in the right, as verified with Electroencephalography (EEG) examinations.


We found a significant correlation between foci lateralization and reduced QOL (Spearman's rho = 0.361, p < 0.046). Children with right hemispheric foci exhibited lower overall QOL, particularly in five areas: anxiety, social-activities, stigma, general-health, and quality-of-life.


We demonstrated for the first time that in children left- and right-hemispheric foci were associated with discordant QOL scores. Unlike in adults, foci in the right hemisphere led to worse emotional and social functioning demonstrating that seizures impact the brain differentially during development.