Seizure study sheds light on lasting brain effects in children

December 6, 2017, University of Edinburgh

Prolonged convulsive seizures in childhood could be linked to the development of other brain conditions, a study suggests.

Lasting effects are more pronounced in who had other before their , researchers say.

The study - the first of its kind worldwide - provides insight into the long-term health impact of (CSE), in which a single seizure, or series of seizures, lasts for at least 30 minutes.

Its findings will be important for doctors as they try to predict what the lasting outcomes might be for families, and how to monitor and treat children who had CSE.

CSE is the most common medical emergency in young children, affecting 1 in 5000 people per year in the developed world. Long-term consequences of CSE are not well established.

Researchers based at the University of Edinburgh and UCL (University College London) followed the health of more than 100 children for nine years after they had CSE.

Lasting neurological , including epilepsy, learning disabilities and movement problems were more common than expected for children from the general population, the study found.

Children who had existing neurological or developmental issues at the time of a CSE were more likely to have a neurological problem at follow up, researchers say.

Children without an existing neurological or developmental issue tended to have more positive outcomes.

The findings offer fresh insights into the biological cause of long-term brain conditions in children after CSE and could help doctors decide on treatment for patients.

The study is published in the journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health.

Richard Chin, Director of the University of Edinburgh's Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre, who led the study, said: "Our study indicates that children with pre-existing neurological conditions are far more likely to experience chronic neurological and cognitive problems following convulsive status epilepticus. This is a very important finding for planning long-term treatment for children whose brains may be more vulnerable to the effects of a prolonged seizure.

"The findings also give hope to families whose children did not have neurological problems before, as the long-term effects of their child's prolonged seizure may not be as marked as might be expected."

Explore further: Developmental delays in children following prolonged seizures

More information: Suresh S Pujar et al, Long-term prognosis after childhood convulsive status epilepticus: a prospective cohort study, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health (2017). DOI: 10.1016/S2352-4642(17)30174-8

Related Stories

Developmental delays in children following prolonged seizures

April 8, 2013
Researchers from the UK determined that developmental delays are present in children within six weeks following convulsive status epilepticus (CSE)—a seizure lasting longer than thirty minutes. The study appearing today ...

Four out of five kids with epilepsy have other health problems: study

August 1, 2016
(HealthDay)—Nearly 80 percent of children who have the seizure disorder epilepsy also have other health conditions, such as digestive troubles and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, a large Norwegian study finds.

Early treatment with AED reduces duration of febrile seizures

February 6, 2014
New research shows that children with febrile status epilepticus (FSE) who receive earlier treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) experience a reduction in the duration of the seizure. The study published in Epilepsia, ...

New guideline for treatment of prolonged seizures in children and adults

February 9, 2016
Status epilepticus - continuous or rapid sequential seizure activity for 30 minutes or more - is a medical emergency with a high mortality rate in both children and adults. Prompt and effective treatment is key; therefore ...

MRI and EEG could identify children at risk for epilepsy after febrile seizures

November 7, 2012
Seizures during childhood fever are usually benign, but when prolonged, they can foreshadow an increased risk of epilepsy later in life. Now a study funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests that brain imaging ...

Children's seizures not always damaging, study finds

December 3, 2012
(HealthDay)—Not all prolonged seizures permanently hurt children with epilepsy, according to preliminary findings from a long-term follow-up study.

Recommended for you

New neurons in the adult brain are involved in sensory learning

February 23, 2018
Although we have known for several years that the adult brain can produce new neurons, many questions about the properties conferred by these adult-born neurons were left unanswered. What advantages could they offer that ...

Study in mice suggests personalized stem cell treatment may offer relief for multiple sclerosis

February 22, 2018
Scientists have shown in mice that skin cells re-programmed into brain stem cells, transplanted into the central nervous system, help reduce inflammation and may be able to help repair damage caused by multiple sclerosis ...

Nolan film 'Memento' reveals how the brain remembers and interprets events from clues

February 22, 2018
Key repeating moments in the film give viewers the information they need to understand the storyline. The scenes cause identical reactions in the viewer's brain. The results deepen our understanding of how the brain functions, ...

Biomarker, clues to possible therapy found in novel childhood neurogenetic disease

February 22, 2018
Researchers studying a rare genetic disorder that causes severe, progressive neurological problems in childhood have discovered insights into biological mechanisms that drive the disease, along with early clues that an amino ...

A look at the space between mouse brain cells

February 22, 2018
Between the brain's neurons and glial cells is a critical but understudied structure that's been called neuroscience's final frontier: the extracellular space. With a new imaging paradigm, scientists can now see into and ...

Schizophrenia a side effect of human development

February 21, 2018
Schizophrenia may have evolved as an "unwanted side effect" of the development of the complex human brain, a new study has found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.