Update on the epidemiology and prognosis of pediatric epilepsy

Shlomo Shinnar, John M. Pellock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


Epilepsy is among the most common serious neurologic disorders in childhood. Epidemiologic studies over the past few decades have greatly increased current knowledge of the incidence and prognosis of seizures. Newer epidemiologic studies have used population- or community-based cohorts, and careful attention has been given to etiology and specific epilepsy syndromes, the two most important factors affecting prognosis. Risk of epilepsy is highest in patients with an associated serious neurologic abnormality, such as mental retardation or cerebral palsy. More than two thirds of patients with childhood-onset epilepsy ultimately achieve remission. Of those attaining remission on medications, approximately 70% remain seizure free when medications are discontinued. Mortality is increased in patients with epilepsy, but the increased mortality risk in childhood-onset epilepsy is primarily seen in patients with neurologic abnormalities or intractable epilepsy. Although long-term seizure outcomes are generally favorable, childhood-onset epilepsy is associated with adverse long-term psychosocial outcomes, even in patients attaining remission. This review summarizes recent data on the epidemiology and prognosis of pediatric epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S4-S17
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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