Interictal autonomic abnormalities in idiopathic Rolandic Epilepsy

Stefano Seri*, Giorgio Di Lorenzo, Tiziana Pisano, Mariangela Pinci, Daniela Brazzo, Heather Betteridge, Antonella Cerquiglini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated 50 young patients with a diagnosis of Rolandic Epilepsy (RE) for the presence of abnormalities in autonomic tone compared with 50 young patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy with absences and 50 typically developing children of comparable age. We analyzed time domain (N-N interval, pNN50) and frequency domain (High Frequency (HF), Low Frequency (LF) and LF/HF ratio) indices from ten-minute resting EKG activity. Patients with RE showed significantly higher HF and lower LF power and lower LF/HF ratio than controls, independent of the epilepsy group, and did not show significant differences in any other autonomic index with respect to the two control groups. In RE, we found a negative relationship between both seizure load and frequency of sleep interictal EEG abnormalities with parasympathetic drive levels. These changes might be the expression of adaptive mechanisms to prevent the excessive sympathetic drive seen in patients with refractory epilepsies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number2
Early online date3 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • autonomic nervous system
  • childhood
  • heart rate variability
  • rolandic epilepsy
  • sympathovagal balance


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