Introduction: In pediatric epilepsy, comorbidities are reported to be frequent. The present study focusedon the cognitive
patterns of children with isolated epilepsy, children with isolated neurodevelopmental disorders (reading disorders, math
disorders, autism spectrum disorders), and children with epilepsy and these neurodevelopmental disorders as comorbidities.
Based on two samples of referred children, one with epilepsy, reading disorders, math disorders, or ASDs occurring in "isolation"
(n = 117) and one with reading disorders, math disorders, and ASDs occurring comorbid with epilepsy (n = 171), cognitive patterns
were compared. The patterns displayed by verbal and nonverbal abilities from the WISC series were studied with repeated measures
ANOVA. Thereafter, an exploratory 2 ∗ 3 ∗ 2 factorial analysis was done to study the independent contribution of the type
of comorbidity and of the presence or absence of epilepsy to the VIQ-PIQ pattern.
Results: In isolated epilepsy, a VIQ
> PIQ pattern was found, which was not seen in the other disorders. When epilepsy and another disorder co-occurred, patterns
were altered. They resembled partly the pattern seen in isolated epilepsy and partly the pattern seen in the isolated neurodevelopmental
disorder. In comorbid reading disorders, the VIQ > PIQ pattern was mitigated; in comorbid math disorders, it was exacerbated.
In comorbid ASDs, no clear pattern emerged. In the presence of epilepsy, patterns characteristic of isolated disorders appeared
systematically shifted toward relatively lowered performance abilities or relatively spared verbal abilities. The similar
"impact" exerted by epilepsy on the patterns of the various conditions suggested shared mechanisms.