The management of childhood epilepsy requires attention to more than seizure control because children with epilepsy often suffer from comorbidities that lead to an increased frequency of psychiatric disease, learning difficulties, and other problems of psychosocial development. These comorbidities can stem in part from the same genetic traits that determine seizure susceptibility. Thus, mutations affecting potassium, calcium, and sodium channels have been linked with epilepsy syndromes and affective and behavioral abnormalities. It is important to consider the effect of antiepilepsy drugs on comorbid conditions and the effect on seizures of drugs used to treat comorbidities. A number of antiepilepsy drugs are available that have minimal adverse cognitive effects, and some can have positive effects on mood and behavior. Epilepsy in a child is a condition that affects and is affected by the entire family situation. In addition to appropriate neuropsychologic evaluation, optimal management of childhood epilepsy also can require the involvement of the social worker, advanced practice nurse, and educational specialist. Many elements of the multidisciplinary team approach can be instituted by the child neurologist in community practice and at large, specialized epilepsy centers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology