At some time in their lives, about 6% of the population of the U.S. will have a seizure. Over half of these seizures occur in early childhood, associated with a high fever or head injury. Usually, these are single episodes that never recur and do not require mediation. Recurrence of seizures is best predicted by abnormal electroencephalograms (EEGs) obtained shortly after the seizure episodes. Persons with repeated seizures have a seizure disorder, also called epilepsy. About 50% of all children with a seizure disorder have normal intelligence; the other half have various degrees of intellectual disability. Conversely, among children with developmental disabilities, the prevalence of seizure disorders is 16% in those with mental retardation, 25% in children with cerebral palsy, and 25% in children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Children with seizure disorders have a high incidence of learning disabilities and behavior and psychological problems. Seizures in children without other developmental disabilities are generally well controlled with aniepileptic medication, and these drugs can usually be stopped if the child has no seizures for 2 years. However, children with multiple developmental disabilities in addition to seizure disorders often have more complex seizures patterns that are more difficult to control and they may require prolonged medication.
People related to the topic: Seizure disorders
James Sutcliffe, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
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