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of everyone affected by epilepsy

Children with epilepsy at risk for behaviour problems

15 Jan 2001

Researchers from Indiana University and the University of Tennessee have published research that suggests that behavioural problems in children with epilepsy increase before a first seizure is recognised.

The researchers found that in the six months prior to the first recognised seizure, rates of behavioural problems were higher than expected and that children with seizures had more behavioural problems than their brothers and sisters, especially in areas such as thought and attention.

The authors of the study write, "Children with previously unrecognised seizures are already at increased risk for behavioural problems at the time of their first recognised seizure." They conclude, "In some children, epilepsy is a pervasive condition that includes both seizures and behavioural problems."

The researchers studied 220 children with epilepsy and their 135 brothers and sisters without the condition with telephone interviews were carried out with mothers to measure each child's condition.