Publications by authors named "Lindsay Whitman"

5 Publications

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Sensitivity of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (64-Card Version) versus the Tower of London (Drexel Version) for detecting executive dysfunction in children with epilepsy.

Child Neuropsychol 2018 04 3;24(3):354-369. Epub 2017 Jan 3.

g Space Coast Neuropsychology Center , Melbourne , FL , USA.

Executive function deficits are common in children and adolescents with epilepsy. Though the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) is often considered the "gold standard" for executive function assessment, its sensitivity-particularly in the case of the 64-card version (WCST-64)-is insufficiently established in pediatric samples, including children and adolescents with epilepsy. The present investigation assesses the sensitivity of the WCST-64 in children and adolescents with epilepsy in comparison to another measure: the Tower of London - Drexel Version (TOL-DX). A total of 88 consecutively referred children and adolescents with epilepsy were administered both the WCST-64 and TOL-DX as part of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. The sensitivity of WCST-64 and TOL-DX variables were established and relations with epilepsy severity measures and other executive function measures were assessed. Of the WCST-64 variables, Perseverative Responses is the most sensitive, but detected executive function impairment in only 19% of this clinically referred sample; in contrast, the TOL-DX Rule Violations detected executive function impairment in half of the sample. Further, TOL-DX performances are more strongly related to epilepsy severity variables and other executive function measures in comparison to the WCST-64. Despite its popularity amongst clinicians, the WCST-64 is not as sensitive to executive dysfunction in comparison to other measures of comparable administration time, such as the TOL-DX.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2016.1265101DOI Listing
April 2018

Material specificity of memory deficits in children with temporal tumors and seizures: A case series.

Appl Neuropsychol Child 2017 Oct-Dec;6(4):335-344. Epub 2016 Jul 1.

f NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York University School of Medicine , New York , New York.

In adults, left temporal lobe pathology is typically associated with verbal memory deficits, whereas right temporal lobe pathology is thought to produce visual memory deficits in right-handed individuals. However, in children and adolescents with temporal lobe pathology, conclusions regarding material specificity of memory deficits remain unclear. The goal of the present case series is to examine the profile of verbal and visual memory impairment in children with temporal lobe tumors. Three patients with identified right temporal tumors and three patients with left temporal tumors are included. The Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning-Second Edition (WRAML-2) was administered as part of a larger neuropsychological battery. As anticipated, participants with right temporal lesions showed impaired visual memory relative to intact verbal memory. Interestingly, although the discrepancies between verbal and visual indices were less extreme, those with left temporal lesions showed a similar memory profile. These seemingly counterintuitive findings among left temporal tumor patients likely reflect less hemispheric specialization in children in comparison to adults and the fact that early developmental lesions in the left hemisphere may lead to functional reorganization of language-based skills.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21622965.2016.1197126DOI Listing
May 2018

Clinical utility of reliable digit span in assessing effort in children and adolescents with epilepsy.

Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2012 Nov 9;27(7):735-41. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Department of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, USA.

The assessment of effort is an important aspect of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, as this can significantly impact data interpretation. While recent work has validated the appropriateness of adult-derived cutoffs for standalone effort measures in younger populations, little research has focused on embedded effort measures in children. The present study includes 54 clinically referred children and adolescents (32 males/22 females; aged 6-17) with a confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy. Reliable Digit Spans (RDSs) were calculated and the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) was administered in the context of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. Using a previously published RDS cutoff of ≤6, a pass rate of only 65% was obtained, well below the recommended 90% pass rate for an effective effort index. In contrast, when adult criteria were used on TOMM Trial 2, a 90% pass rate was observed. RDS scores were significantly correlated with IQ estimates (r = .59, p < .001) and age (r = .61, p < .001). The difference between RDS and the TOMM on the participant outcome was statistically significant (χ(2) = 9.05, p = .003). These results suggest that RDS appears to yield a large number of false positives and, therefore, may be of limited utility in detecting poor effort in a pediatric epilepsy population. These findings likely extend to other pediatric populations that are known to have significant cognitive loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acs063DOI Listing
November 2012

The intracarotid amobarbital procedure: when is it worth repeating?

Epilepsia 2012 Apr 6;53(4):721-7. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

Department of Neurology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.

Purpose: Despite the reported diagnostic value of the intracarotid amobarbital procedure (IAP) or "Wada test" for determining hemispheric lateralization and memory functioning, it has never undergone formal reliability testing because a prospective test-retest study design is neither feasible nor ethical. However, some patients require repeat testing for clinical purposes, a circumstance that allows for exploration of issues related to reliability. The current investigation sought to: (1) evaluate the frequency of and reasons for repeated IAPs and (2) describe the test-retest reliability of repeated IAPs in a large tertiary epilepsy center.

Methods: A 10-year review (2001-2011) of the New York University Langone Medical Center Comprehensive Epilepsy Center patient registry revealed 630 IAPs. Review of medical records identified 20 individuals who underwent two or more IAPs on separate days. Because IAPs repeated due to technical problems should be considered separate from IAPs repeated for other reasons because these IAPs likely included a change in the procedure (e.g., lower medication dose) in an attempt to ameliorate the complication, patients were grouped accordingly. Six patients underwent repeated IAPs due to technical complication and 14 patients underwent a repeated IAP due to other reasons (e.g., unexpected memory outcome, reconsideration of surgery years after a previous surgical work-up in which no surgery was performed, and/or consideration of a second surgery). Given that data obtained from injections ipsilateral to a seizure focus are sometimes considered in a manner clinically different from data obtained from injections contralateral to the seizure focus, memory outcome was classified relative to the side of identified seizure focus. The degree to which language and memory data were consistent across repeated IAPs was examined.

Key Findings: Language functioning was consistently lateralized across IAPs in all but one case. Among the six patients who experienced technical problems in the first IAP, three were fully participatory in the second procedure such that valid data were obtained. For the other three, the technical problem recurred with no change in outcome across procedures. Among the 14 patients with repeated IAPs due to other reasons, 79% of the available ipsilateral and 73% of the contralateral pass/fail outcomes were consistent across procedures. No difference between ipsilateral or contralateral injections was observed for the likelihood of a change in results (p = 0.57).

Significance: Our data identified overall high reliability for both the ipsilateral and contralateral sides with repeated IAP testing. Results indicated that although patients for whom a correctable technical problem was identified during the IAP may benefit from a repeat study, there is little benefit to repeating the IAP in patients with discordant or unexpected results (i.e., results are not likely to change). These data support the overall reliability of both the language and memory data obtained from the IAP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03399.xDOI Listing
April 2012

Assessment of executive functioning in childhood epilepsy: the Tower of London and BRIEF.

Child Neuropsychol 2012 3;18(4):404-15. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

Department of Neurology, Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York University, New York, USA.

Children and adolescents with epilepsy are known to demonstrate executive function dysfunction, including working memory deficits and planning deficits. Accordingly, assessing specific executive function skills is important when evaluating these individuals. The present investigation examined the utility of two measures of executive functions-the Tower of London and the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF)-in a pediatric epilepsy sample. Ninety clinically referred children and adolescents with seizures were included. Both the Tower of London and BRIEF identified executive dysfunction in these individuals, but only the Tower of London variables showed significant relations with epilepsy severity variables such as age of epilepsy onset, seizure frequency, number of antiepileptic medications, etc. Further, the Tower of London and BRIEF variables were uncorrelated. Results indicate that objective measures of executive function deficits are more closely related to epilepsy severity but may not predict observable deficits, as reported by parents. Comprehensive evaluation of such deficits, therefore, should include both objective measures as well as subjective ratings from caregivers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2011.613812DOI Listing
October 2012