International Symposium | 19th to 22nd September


NEWroscience 2023


Maria Emília Rodrigues de Oliveira Thais

Pós-Graduação em Ciências Médicas da UFSC. Florianópolis, Brasil.


Theory of Mind in Epilepsies

Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent, chronic and unprovoked seizures. Epilepsy has a significant negative impact on quality of life of patients even if seizures are well controlled. In addition to the distress caused by seizures, patients with epilepsy may suffer from cognitive impairment with serious social consequences such as poor interpersonal relationships, loss of employment, and reduced social networks.

Pathological changes and functional connectivity abnormalities observed in patients with epilepsy can disrupt the neural network responsible for theory of mind. Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states to other people (intentions, beliefs, and emotions). It is a complex aspect of social cognition and includes cognitive and affective constructs.  

In recent years, numerous studies, including meta-analysis assessed the relationship between social cognition, including theory of mind, in patients with epilepsy and suggests impairment in this domain. Interventions targeting theory of mind can be potentially helpful to improve the quality of life of patients with epilepsy.