Epilepsy as a development disorder: The role of co-morbid disabilities

Michael Duchowny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developmental disorders include neurologically based conditions which are acquired prenatally but are unassociated with known genetic factors. According to this definition, the majority of epilepsy that begins in childhood is primarily developmentally based. Not surprisingly, affected children are also prone to other developmental disabilities including behavioral problems, learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, depression, and psychiatric disturbance. The frequent association of one or more co-morbid conditions significantly complicates patient management and may impair quality of life. There is also heightened risk for poorer long-term social and cognitive status in adulthood. In this review, the association of epilepsy and developmental disorders in childhood is examined, and potential avenues of treatment are addressed. Clinicians caring for children with epilepsy must search for the presence of comorbid developmental conditions and be knowledgeable about their treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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