Pediatrie Epilepsy Syndromes: An Update and Critical Review

Michael Duchowny, A. Simon Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Epilepsy syndromes occupy an important position in the current nosology of the epilepsies, describing and classifying seizure disorders with shared clinical and EEG features. Increasingly, this schema is being refined as new information becomes available and our understanding of etiology and presentation of each syndrome widens. Advances in neuroimaging and neurogenetics have been particularly important and are likely to fundamentally change our concepts of syndrome classification. At present, the International League Against Epilepsy classification of epilepsy syndromes according to presumed localization (partial, generalized, undetermined) and etiology (idiopathic, cryptogenic, symptomatic). In clinical practice, it is often useful to conceptualize epilepsy syndromes according to their usual age at presentation, which greatly facilitates syndrome identification in new patients and recognizes the age-related expression of many childhood epilepsies. Definitional problems exist for many pediatrie epilepsy syndromes, particularly the epileptic encephalopathies of early infancy, the benign epilepsies of infancy and childhood, the myoclonic epilepsies of infancy and early childhood, and the idiopathic generalized epilepsies of childhood and adolescence. It is likely that further input from the fields of molecular genetics and neuroimaging will enable the classification of epilepsies to become more etiologically oriented and disease specific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S26-S40
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Absence epilepsy
  • Adolescent
  • Brain abnormalities
  • Brain diagnosis
  • Child
  • Complex-partial epilepsy
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy
  • Frontal lobe epilepsy
  • Generalized epilepsy
  • Genetics
  • Infant
  • Infantile spasms
  • Myoclonic epilepsy
  • Partial epilepsy
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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