Literature Monitor

Measuring the Impact of Developmental Encephalopathic Epilepsy

Epilepsia; 2018 Nov; Berg et al.


Developmental encephalopathic epilepsies (DEEs) are responsible for a disproportionate number of cases of drug resistance, early deaths, and disability, according to researchers from Northwestern-Feinberg School of Medicine and Yale School of Medicine.

  • An analysis of 613 pediatric patients from the Connecticut Study of Epilepsy allowed researchers to classify patients into specific epilepsy syndromes and to reclassify them over a period of 9 years.
  • Among these children, 58 were found to have DEEs (9.4%).
  • DEEs were more resistant to drug therapy than other epilepsies (71% vs 18%), more likely to cause intellectual disability (84% vs 11%), and more likely to cause death (21% vs <1%).
  • The analysis also revealed changes from the initial epilepsy diagnosis over time, eg, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome was initially diagnosed in only 4 children but by the end of 9 years, 22 had received the diagnosis.

Berg AT, Levy SR, Testa FM. Evolution and course of early life developmental encephalopathic epilepsies: Focus on Lennox Gastaut syndrome. Epilepsia. 2018;59:2096-2105.

Next Article: