Social Outcomes Examined for Childhood-Onset Epilepsy

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Those with uncomplicated cases do as well as their siblings without the disorder, researchers say
Those with uncomplicated cases do as well as their siblings without the disorder, researchers say

HealthDay News — Young adults with uncomplicated epilepsy who remain seizure-free do as well as siblings without the disorder in education, employment, driving, and independent living, according to a study published online April 4 in Epilepsia.

The 15-year study included 361 patients in Connecticut with childhood-onset epilepsy and 173 of their brothers and sisters.

Those with uncomplicated epilepsy who were seizure-free for 5 years had social outcomes comparable to their siblings. But those with complicated epilepsy had worse social outcomes and were less likely to drive, even if they were seizure-free, the researchers found. 

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"Our study provides further evidence that children growing up with uncomplicated epilepsy who stay seizure-free have a favorable prognosis," senior author Anne Berg, PhD, a research professor at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, said in a hospital news release. "However, if they do not achieve 5-year seizure remission, young adults with uncomplicated epilepsy are less likely to drive and graduate high school. They also tend to be less productively engaged and not live independently. These results show how critically important it is to control seizures."

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