Abnormal visual habituation in pediatric photosensitive epilepsy

Daniela Brazzo, Giorgio Di Lorenzo, P. Bill, M. Fasce, G. Papalia, P. Veggiotti, Stefano Seri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - To investigate visual habituation – a measure of visual cortical excitability – in photosensitive patients in pediatric age and compare the findings with a matched sample with idiopathic generalized epilepsies without photosensitivity and with normally developing children.
Methods - We presented a full-field black-and-white checkerboard pattern, at 3 reversal/s with 100% contrast binocularly for 600 consecutive trials and measured the N75–P100 and P100–N145 pattern-reversal visual evoked potential inter-peak amplitudes and N75, P100, N145 latencies for the six blocks of 100 responses. As a measure of habituation we used the slope of the linear regression line of the N75–P100 and P100–N145 peak-to-peak amplitudes. The slope of the linear regression line of the N75–P100 and P100–N145 latencies was also analyzed.
Results - Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between the three groups in the slope index of N75–P100 PR-VEP amplitude, with increased or constant amplitude in the PS group compare to the IGE and ND across the six blocks.
Conclusions - Our results support the notion that photosensitivity is associated with altered control of excitatory and inhibitory cortical processes. The causal relationship between habituation deficit and photo-paroxysmal response needs to be further investigated with longitudinal studies.

This study supports the hypothesis that suppression of PR-VEP is a sensitive intermediate phenotype, which discriminates patients with photosensitivity from those with generalized epilepsies in pediatric age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • photosensitivity
  • epilepsy
  • habituation
  • sensory gating
  • pattern-reversal VEP


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