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Seizure frequency and characteristics in children with Down syndrome

      Abstract

      Seizures have not historically been considered a major component of Down syndrome. We examined the prevalence of epileptic seizures in 350 children and adolescents with Down syndrome evaluated at a regional center between 1985 and 1997. Results showed that 28 patients (8%) had epileptic seizures: 13 (47%) partial seizures; 9 (32%) infantile spasms, and 6 (21%) generalized tonic–clonic seizures. In the infantile spasm group, there was no relationship between the initial electroencephalogram (EEG) pattern and response to treatment or long-term seizure control, or between type of pharmacologic treatment (valproic acid, adrenocorticotropic hormone or both) and clinical remission, EEG normalization or long-term seizure control. Neurodevelopmental outcome was poor despite good seizure control in the infantile spasm group. This regional study reinforces the relative association of seizures and Down syndrome. A prospective study including a national/international registry with emphasis on developmental assessment and long-term follow up is warranted.

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