What is it about?

This paper deals with the prognosis of epilepsy that started in children 2-16 years of age with no mayor neurological impairment. They were followed up 29-35 years later when 149 of them (65%) answered a questionnaire. The prognosis of epilepsy very much depends on if the children have neurological impairments or not. Most children with epilepsy (about 65%) have a rather good prognosis since they have no or a very mild neurological impairment. In the former study the duration of treatment was allotted to one or three years and was tapered out in those seizure-free during the last six months. In this follow-up study we found that 77% were free from epilepsy. Those with persistent epilepsy were unemployed significantly more often and perceived their mental health significantly more affected than those seizure-free without treatment.

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Why is it important?

Even if some type of seizures relapsed more often after only one year of treatment this did not affect the good long-term prognosis according to the actual study. Hence it is important to know this when the duration of antiseizure medication is discussed with parents to children aged 2-16 years with epilepsy but without any mayor neurological impairment.

Perspectives

Childhood epilepsy occurs in about 1:200 children and most of these children have no neurological impairment and hence a good prognosis. There are many studies concerning the long-term prognosis in childhood epilepsies, but none has been based on a population like this where the duration of the initial medical treatment was allotted.

Gunnar Braathen

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This page is a summary of: Long‐term seizure and psychosocial outcome in childhood epilepsy of unknown cause, Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, March 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/ane.13414.
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