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Epilepsy syndromes

A syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms which, if they occur together, can suggest a particular condition.

Many children will have a set of related symptoms which fit a particular pattern and this will determine which syndrome they have.

Knowing a child’s syndrome will help the doctors to choose the appropriate antiepileptic drug and also give a more accurate outlook for the child. It can also help to point the family in the right direction to get help and support.

When classifying syndromes, doctors will take into account:

  • The part of the brain involved during seizures.
  • The seizure type that the child has experienced.
  • The age when seizures started.
  • Any factors that cause seizures.
  • Results of investigations, e.g. EEG or results of CT or MRI scans.
  • Any related symptoms or problems that the child may be experiencing with their development, behaviour or learning.

Knowing the syndrome will be useful for understanding whether seizures can be controlled; medication; other related difficulties such as learning, behaviour or social functioning, and whether the epilepsy is hereditary.

Some of the epilepsy syndromes in childhood include:

  • Benign Rolandic Epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (BECTS)
  • Childhood Absence Epilepsy
  • Rasmussen’s Syndrome
  • Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Helpline

Our dedicated Helpline can provide information on children with epilepsy who have other associated conditions. For a private, confidential chat, call us on 01342 831342 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Star Fact!

There are at least 40 different seizure types and people may have one or several different seizure types.

Cyber EssentialsFundraising RegulatorYoung Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE).
Registered Charity number 311877 (England and Wales)

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