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A descriptive study of non-symptomatic epilepsy according to age at onset at a Neuropediatric Section of regional reference
AIM. A descriptive study of non-symptomatic epilepsy (idiopathic and cryptogenic), according to age at onset, monitored at a Neuropediatric Section of regional reference over a period of three years.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. A review of neuropediatric database medical records of children with non-symptomatic epilepsy supervised from Jan 1, 2008 till December 31, 2010.
RESULTS. Of the 4595 children attended during the period, 605 were diagnosed with epilepsy (13.17%): 156 (25.79%) idiopathic epilepsies and 172 (28.43%) cryptogenic epilepsies. The average age at onset of the total was 4.78 years: 6.31 years in idiopathic epilepsies and 5.43 years in cryptogenic epilepsies. 26.12% of all the epilepsies began in the first year of life. Idiopathic epilepsy predominates in the startup group of 6-10 years and cryptogenic epilepsy in 3-6 years. Absence epilepsy and benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes are the idiopathic epileptic syndromes most prevalent.
CONCLUSIONS. Many differences exist among published epidemiological data on childhood epilepsy due to the difficulty of a syndromic diagnosis in children, caused by clinical and electroencephalographic variability. The absence of a universally accepted classification of epileptic syndromes makes it difficult to compare publications. All epilepsies are symptomatic as they have a cause, whether it be genetic or acquired. A useful classification would be etiological, with two groups: one large with established etiology or very likely genetic syndromes and another with no established cause. The age at onset indicates specific etiologies.
ChildhoodClassificationCryptogenic epilepsyEpilepsyEpileptic syndromeGeneticsIdiopathic epilepsyEpilepsias y síndromes epilépticosNeuropediatría