Delayed episodic memory recall after one week is associated with executive functions and divided attention in pediatric epilepsy patients.

Studer, Martina; Schmitt, Stella; Wingeier, Kevin; Lidzba, Karen; Bigi, Sandra (2023). Delayed episodic memory recall after one week is associated with executive functions and divided attention in pediatric epilepsy patients. Brain & development, 45(7), pp. 372-382. Elsevier 10.1016/j.braindev.2023.03.009

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Recent studies suggest that although children with epilepsy may show normal learning and memory performance, accelerated long-term forgetting (ALF) may become evident over time. Our study examined associations between delayed episodic memory performance (recall 1-week after learning) and executive functions.


A consecutive sample of children with a diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy with focal or generalized seizures, without morphologic or metabolic abnormalities (n = 20, mean age: 11.70 years) was compared to an IQ-matched healthy control group (n = 20, mean age: 11.55 years). We also assessed parents' and children's rating of forgetting in everyday life and explored its association with delayed episodic memory recall.


Similar to results from recent studies of pediatric patients with temporal lobe epilepsy or genetic generalized epilepsy, our pediatric epilepsy patients showed a significantly elevated recall loss over time, although verbal learning, immediate and 30-minute recall was comparable to the matched control group. Additionally, delayed memory recall in patients was moderately associated with their subjective rating of forgetting, as well as with executive functions (verbal fluency and switching) and divided attention.


We assume that executive functions play a crucial role in deep memory encoding, facilitating stronger and more enduring memory traces. Given that approximately 20% of epilepsy patients - compared to a healthy reference sample - had a significantly reduced delayed recall and due to the clinical relevance of long-term memory, age-appropriate standard norms for free memory recall after 1-week are desirable.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Neuropaediatrics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Studer, Martina (A), Lidzba, Karen, Bigi, Sandra


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

11 Apr 2023 11:34

Last Modified:

23 Jun 2023 17:35

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

Accelerated long-term forgetting Children Epilepsy Executive functions Subjective memory rating




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