Epilepsy, even controlled, causes problems in children

Epilepsy, even controlled, causes problems in childrenEpilepsy, even controlled, can still cause problems in children, such as learning and behavioral issues. Lead author Anne Berg said, “Frequency and intensity of seizures remain important predictors of how well a child does into adulthood. But, somewhat to our surprise, we also found seizures are by no means the sole influencers of social and educational outcomes among adults with childhood epilepsy.”

The study included 241 children and teens in Connecticut, all diagnosed with uncomplicated epilepsy, who were followed for 12 years on average.


Thirty-nine percent of children had their condition well under control, 23 percent had good control, and nearly 30 percent had seizures that came and went but responded well to medication. Lastly, eight percent had recurrent, drug-resistant epilepsy.
Among those with good seizure control, over 90 percent were either pursuing a college degree or had a job, compared with 60 percent of those who had their seizures poorly managed.

Those with a history of learning problems were 50 percent more likely to be unemployed.

Regardless of seizure control, those with a history of emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric conditions were 60 percent less likely to graduate college and 50 percent less likely to live independently.

Seizure control, or lack thereof, was not associated with trouble with the law. However, those with disruptive behavioral disorders were three times more likely to have a run-in with the law, regardless of seizure control.


Berg concluded in the news release, “Physicians caring for those patients should not assume kids are doing fine just because their seizures are under control. Seizures really don’t tell the whole story.”

The findings were published in Pediatrics.


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.