Purpose: We studied children younger than 6 years old who developed catastrophic epilepsy and were registered in the FACE study group to clarify their clinical characteristics and prevalence of seizure as well as epilepsy types. Subjects: Subjects were prospectively recruited from children with epilepsy who satisfied the following criteria and underwent intensive examination between 2009 and 2012 in 14 collaborative centers: (1) younger than 6 years old and (2) more than 10 seizures/month refractory to all available medical treatments including ACTH therapy, leading to significant psychosocial morbidity. Methods: We analyzed epilepsy onset age, predominant seizure type, etiology, neuropsychological findings, and syndromic classification according to the pre-determined registration format. Results: A total of 314 children were enrolled in this study. Epilepsy onset age in 239 cases (80%) was younger than 12. months. The most frequent seizure type was epileptic spasms (ES), followed by generalized tonic seizures (GTS), which accounted for 42% and 20%, respectively. West syndrome (WS) was the most frequent epileptic syndrome and accounted for 37%, followed by unclassified epilepsy at 21%, neocortical epilepsy at 19%, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome at 12%, Dravet syndrome at 4%, Rasmussen syndrome at 2%, and others. The two most frequent causes of epilepsy were cortical dysplasia and chromosomal anomalies, as shown in 16% and 6%, respectively. However, the etiology of nearly one half of all patients remained unknown. Psychomotor development was already worse than a moderate degree in 62% of subjects at the first examination. Conclusion: The highest proportion of catastrophic epilepsy was WS and its related syndromes featuring ES and GTS, followed by neocortical epilepsy, whose psychomotor development was significantly retarded at examinations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was presented at the 14th annual meeting of Infantile Seizure Society and International Symposium on Surgery for Catastrophic Epilepsy in Infants (ISCE) held on February 18 and 19, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. We are grateful to all of the doctors in the FACE study group hospitals or institutes who supported this study. This study was funded in part by research grants ( 21210301 ) for the Specified Disease Treatment Research Program from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare . We certify that we have read the Journal’s position regarding issues pertaining to ethical publications, and affirm that this report is consistent with those guidelines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology