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Developmental Reorganization of the Cognitive Network in Pediatric Epilepsy


Traditional approaches to understanding cognition in children with epilepsy (CWE) involve cross-sectional or prospective examination of diverse test measures, an approach that does not inform the interrelationship between different abilities or how interrelationships evolve prospectively. Here we utilize graph theory techniques to interrogate the development of cognitive landmarks in CWE and healthy controls (HC) using the two-year percentage change across 20 tests. Additionally, we characterize the development of cognition using traditional analyses, showing that CWE perform worse at baseline, develop in parallel with HC, statically maintaining cognitive differences two years later. Graph analyses, however, showed CWE to exhibit both lower integration and segregation in development of their cognitive networks compared to HC. In conclusion, graph analyses of neuropsychological data capture a dynamic and changing complexity in the interrelationships among diverse cognitive skills, maturation of the cognitive network over time, and the nature of differences between normally developing children and CWE.

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