Different from Adults
The types of seizures and epilepsies that affect infants and children are different from those that affect adults. Younger patients frequently have complex underlying neurological conditions, specific age-related epilepsies and multiple seizure types that require unique expertise for accurate diagnosis and appropriate therapeutic intervention.
Recent work has shown that in the majority of children, it is a single seizure episode that are the result of an acute disturbance of brain function which is transient and not a persistent underlying pathologic process as what happened in epilepsy. Only a minority of children go on to have recurrent seizures of one or a variety of types, and these children may be properly considered to have epilepsy.
Of these children with epilepsy, 20% have an intractable condition, defined as a failure to respond to two well-chosen antiepileptic drugs. In addition to having uncontrolled seizures, these children are at increased risk for cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric disturbances. Their care is complex, but recent advances offer many opportunities to alleviate seizures, markedly enhance their quality of life, or both. This requires sophisticated diagnostic testing procedures, unique therapeutic resources devoted to children, and a well-coordinated multidisciplinary approach.
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