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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-47

Prognosis of pediatric epilepsy

Department of Neuroepidemiology, Mumbai Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Girish C Nair
Department of Neuroepidemiology, Room No.11, 15th Floor MRC., Bombay Hospital, 12 - Marine Lines, Mumbai - 400 020
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1745.40589

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Epilepsy is a significant and commonplace neurological disability in the pediatric population. Data from increasingly larger and more representative studies have brought about noteworthy changes in our understanding of the prognosis of epilepsy in the pediatric age-group. Prevalence rates for epilepsy in both the developing and the developed world are surprisingly similar despite distinct differences in incidence and large treatment gaps in the developing world; this strongly points towards the possibility of spontaneous remission, at least in some patients. Prognosis after an isolated first seizure is generally quite favorable, but worsens with recurring seizures, remote symptomatic etiology, and the presence of abnormalities on EEG. Presently available antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are at best seizure suppressant in their action and have not been shown to be antiepileptic in the sense that they alter the long-term prognosis of the epilepsy for the better. Epilepsy syndromes can be considered to belong to distinct groups on the basis of their prognosis. Some have an excellent outcome in terms of seizure freedom and neurological development; yet others have a grim prognosis with respect to these variables. Factors that impact on the prognosis of treated epilepsy are being understood and include the specific etiology, age of onset of epilepsy, and EEG findings. Epileptics, especially those with remote symptomatic seizures and refractory epilepsy, suffer higher mortality as compared to the general population. While the outcomes in terms of seizure freedom in patients with epilepsy appear favorable, disturbing data on psychosocial morbidity are coming to light and are reflected in the lower rates of higher education, employment, marriage, and fertility among epileptics.


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