Nutrition Publication

Epilepsy In Childhood

Editor(s): International Committee of Paediatricians. 61 / 3

Related Articles

The Classification of Epilepsy and Epileptic Seizures

Author(s): J.W. Sander

Epilepsy is the propensity to have recurrent andunprovoked epileptic seizures and can resultfrom a number of underlying aetiologies. Epilepsyis thus best considered a symptom of anunderlying brain disorder [1]. A single seizure isnot usually considered sufficient to diagnose epilepsy.Epileptic seizures occurring solely in associationwith precipitants or triggering factorsare termed acute symptomatic or situation-relatedseizures. Such precipitants include fever inyoung children, strokes, metabolic disturbances,alcohol or drug abuse, and acute head injury. Recurrentacute symptomatic seizures are not usuallyconsidered as “epilepsy”.

Febrile Convulsions

Author(s): J. Motte, N. Bednarek

A large number of articles have addressed thesubject of febrile convulsions (FC). From 1996to 2002, over 1,800 references are cited inMEDLINE. Even if in many areas controversy stillremains, certain facts are now clear. FC are frequentand for the most part benign. School performanceand behaviour of children who havesuffered FC are no different to the average observedin the population at large. The probabilityof a subsequent epilepsy after FC lies between2 to 5% and the risk factors for seizure recurrenceare well known. However, the risk of recurrenceof FC is quite substantial, of the orderof 40%.

New Drugs in the Treatment of Epilepsy

Author(s): G.L. Holmes

Most of the 50 million people in the world, athird of whom are children, have epilepsy. Thevast majority are treated with anti-epilepticdrugs (AEDs). However, more than 30% of thesepatients continue to have epileptic seizures orintolerable side effects [1]. In this group of patientswith pharmacoresistance, or who experienceadverse side effects, there is need for moreefficacious and/or better tolerated AEDs.

Surgery for Epilepsy

Author(s): C.E. Elger

Surgery for epilepsy in children presents manymore problems and questions than in adults. Inthe latter, the syndromes are usually well defined,the brain is in a stable situation, scientificdata exist that allow the prediction of memoryand language outcomes, and the surgical risk isdocumented in numerous publications (for review,see [1]). In adults, pharmacological treatmentsusually have been tested extensively,and adult surgical candidates can be classifiedconfidently as pharmacoresistant. An evaluationof surgical patients in Bonn, Germany, showedthat, on average, patients were treated for morethan 20 years before surgery was performed [2].This of course is not a desirable situation, andmany groups recommend that surgery should beconsidered at least after 5 years of unsuccessfulmedical treatment.