Pediatric epilepsy, febrile seizures raise neuropsychiatric risk

  • Lancet Child Adolesc Health

  • curated by Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Children who have epilepsy or febrile seizures may have increased risk for later neuropsychiatric conditions.
  • Epilepsy seems tied to greater risk than febrile seizures, and events in the first decade of life were tied to greater neuropsychiatric vulnerabilities in adolescence and adulthood.

Why this matters

  • These authors say that these associations are “more modest” than previously reported for some conditions.

Key results

  • With epilepsy, risk increased for (HRs; 95% CIs):
    • Any psychiatric disorder: 1.34 (1.25-1.44).
    • Schizophrenia spectrum disorders: 1.50 (1.26-1.78).
  • With febrile seizures, risk increased for:
    • Any psychiatric disorder: 1.12 (1.08-1.17).
    • Schizophrenia spectrum disorders: 1.23 (1.11-1.35).
  • With both, risk increases were:
    • Any disorder: 1.50 (1.28-1.75).
    • Schizophrenia spectrum disorders: 2.75 (2.03-3.73).
  • No increased risk for substance abuse disorders.
  • Febrile seizure-associated risks increased with number of events involving hospital contact.
  • Seizure etiology, onset type (i.e., focal vs generalized) did not change associations.

Study design

  • Danish registry study of 1,291,679 individuals (43,148 febrile seizure history; 10,355 epilepsy; 1696 both), born January 1, 1978 through December 31, 2002.
  • Funding: Novo Nordisk Foundation, Danish Epilepsy Association, others.

Limitations

  • Registration and diagnosis of all conditions changed during the covered period.
  • No information on seizure duration, frequency, or cessation, or medication side effects.

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