Epilepsia and paroxysmal conditions

Advanced search


Full Text:


The majority of epilepsy cases have their onset in childhood. Compared to their peers, many more children with epilepsy suffer from severe neurodevelopmental disorders, including intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders. In the present report, the incidence of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders among children with epilepsy is reviewed. Four types of connection between epilepsy and autism are discussed: these two conditions are independent as they have different etiologies and may co-occur just by chance; epilepsy and autism are associated because both originate from the same genetic defect or from an early CNS damage; autism is caused by the epileptic process, which interferes with the developing brain networks involved in communication and social behavior. Studies demonstrating positive effects of levetiracetam on the behavioral and cognitive functions (memory, attention) in epileptic children are cited.

About the Author

N. N. Zavadenko
N. I. Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Ministry of Health of Russia
Russian Federation

Zavadenko Nikolay Nikolaevich – MD, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Medical Genetics, Faculty of Pediatrics.

Ul. Ostrovityanova, 1, Moscow, 117997, Tel.: +7(495)9369452


1. Besag F., Aldenkamp A., Caplan R., Dunn D. W., Gobbi G., Sillanpaa M. Psychiatric and Behavioural Disorders in Children with Epilepsy (iLAE Task Force Report): Epilepsy and autism. Epileptic Disord. 2016; 18 (Suppl. 1): 16-23. DOi: 10.1684/epd.2016.0809.

2. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-V). American Psychiatric Association. Washington. 2013; 947 p.

3. Russ S. A., Larson K., Halfon N. A national profile of childhood epilepsy and seizure disorder. Pediatrics. 2012; 129 (2): 256-264. DOi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1371.

4. Reilly C., Atkinson P., Das K. B. et al. Features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in childhood epilepsy: a population-based study. Epilepsy Behav. 2015; 42: 86-92. DOi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.11.014.

5. Guerrini R. Epilepsy in children. Lancet. 2006; 367 (9509): 499-524. DOi:

6. Panayiotopoulos C. P. A Clinical Guide to Epileptic Syndromes and their Treatment. London. 2010; 578 p.

7. Riikonen R. A long-term follow-up study of 214 children with the syndrome of infantile spasms. Neuropediatrics. 1982; 13 (1): 14-23. DOi: 10.1055/s-2008-1059590.

8. Aikardi Zh., Baks M., Gillberg K. Diseases of the nervous system in children. Trans. with English. Ed. A. A. Skoromets [Zabolevaniya nervnoi sistemy u detei. Per. s angl. pod red. A. A. Skoromtsa (in Russian)]. Moscow. 2013; 1036 s.

9. Besag F. M. Current controversies in the relationships between autism and epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2015; 47:143-146. DOi:

10. Bitton J. Y., Demos M., Elkouby K., Connolly M., Weiss S. K., Donner E. J., Whiting S., Ronen G. M., Bello-Espinosa L., Wirrell E. C., Mohamed i. S., Dooley J. M., Carmant L. Does treatment have an impact on incidence and risk factors for autism spectrum disorders in children with infantile spasms? Epilepsia. 2015; 56 (6): 856-863. DOi: 10.1111/epi.12997.

11. Lesca G., Rudolf G., Labalme A., Hirsch E., Arzimanoglou A., Genton P., Motte J., De Saint Martin A., Valenti M. P., Boulay C., De Bellescize J., Kéo-Kosal P., Boutry-Kryza N., Edery P., Sanlaville D., Szepetowski P. Epileptic encephalopathies of the LandauKleffner and continuous spike and waves during slow-wave sleep types: genomic dissection makes the link with autism. Epilepsia. 2012; 53(9): 1526-1538. DOi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03559.x.

12. Berkvens J. J., Veugen i., Veendrick-Meekes M.J., Snoeijen-Schouwenaars F. M., Schelhaas H. J., Willemsen M. H., Tan i. Y., Aldenkamp A. P. Autism and behavior in adult patients with Dravet syndrome (DS). Epilepsy Behav. 2015; 47: 11-16. DOi:

13. Simashkova N. V., Klyushnik T. P., Yakupova L. P., Zvereva N. V., Koval’Zaitsev A. A., Zavadenko N. N., Manelis N. G., Taratina L. P. Clinical and biological aspects of autism spectrum disorders [Klinikobiologicheskie aspekty rasstroistv autisticheskogo spectra (in Russian)]. Moscow. 2016; 288 s.

14. Karlov V. A. Epilepsy in children and adults, women and men: A guide for doctors [Epilepsiya u detei i vzroslykh, zhenshchin i muzhchin: Rukovodstvo dlya vrachei (in Russian)]. Moscow. 2010; 720 s.

15. Belousova E. D., Ermakov A. Yu. Zhurn. nevrologii i psikhiatrii im. S. S. Korsakova. 2014; 114 (4-2): 52-58.

16. Tuchman R. F., Rapin i. Regression in pervasive developmental disorders: seizures and epileptiform electroencephalogram correlates. Pediatrics. 1997; 99: 560-566. DOi:

17. Canitano R., Zappella M. Autistic epileptiform regression. Functional Neurology. 2006; 21(2): 97-101. DOi: 10.1177/08830738050200010401.

18. Deonna T., Roulet E. Autistic spectrum disorder: evaluating a possible contributing or causal role of epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2006; 47 (Suppl 2): 79-82. DOi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2006.00697.x.

19. Trauner D. A. Behavioral correlates of epileptiform abnormalities in autism. Epilepsy Behav. 2015; 47: 163-166. DOi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.10.020.

20. Yurov i. Yu., Vorsanova S. G., Yurov Yu. B. Genomic and chromosomal diseases of the central nervous system [Genomnye i khromosomnye bolezni tsentral’noi nervnoi sistemy (in Russian)]. Moscow. 2014; 352 s.

21. Betancur C. Etiological heterogeneity in autism spectrum disorders: more than 100 genetic and genomic disorders and still counting. Brain Res. 2011; 1380: 42-77. DOi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.11.078.

22. Scheffer i. E., Berkovic S., Capovilla G., Connolly M. B., French J., Guilhoto L., Hirsch E., Jain S., Mathern G. W., Moshé S. L., Nordli D. R., Perucca E., Tomson T., Wiebe S., Zhang Y. H., Zuberi S. M. iLAE classification of the epilepsies: Position paper of the iLAE Commission for Classification and Terminology. Epilepsia. 2017; 58 (4): 512-521. DOi: 10.1111/epi.13709.

23. Avakyan G. N., Blinov D. V., Lebedeva A. V., Burd S. G., Avakyan G. G. Epilepsiya i paroksizmal’nye sostoyaniya / Epilepsy and paroxysmal conditions (in Russian). 2017; 9 (1): 6-25. DOi:10.17749/20778333.2017.9.1.006-025

24. Levisohn P. M., Mintz M., Hunter S. J., Yang H., Jones J. Neurocognitive effects of adjunctive levetiracetam inchildren with partial-onset seizures: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, noninferiority trial. Epilepsia. 2009; 50 (11): 2377-2389. DOi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02197.x.

25. Schiemann-Delgado J., Yang H., de la Loge C., Stalvey T. J., Jones J., Legoff D., Mintz M. A long-term open-label extension study assessing cognition and behavior, tolerability, safety, and efficacy of adjunctive levetiracetam in children aged 4 to 16 years with partial-onset seizures. J Child Neurol. 2012; 27 (1): 80-89. DOi: 10.1177/0883073811417183.

26. Lagae L., Buyse G., Ceulemans B. Clinical experience with levetiracetam in childhood epilepsy: an add-on and mono-therapy trial. Seizure. 2005; 14: 66-71. DOi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2004.10.004.

27. Shchederkina i. O., Zavadenko N. N., Orlova E. V., Yakovleva V. N., Zavadenko A. N. Rossiiskii vestnik perinatologii i pediatrii (in Russian). 2015; 60 (4): 93-99.

28. Kozhevnikova V. Yu., Kalacheva i. O., Shprekher B. L. Pediatriya. Zhurnal im. G. N. Cperanskogo (in Russian). 2010; 89 (3): 106-110.

29. Aniol V. A., Novitskaya Yu. A., Borodina T. N., Bukreeva T. V., Lazareva N. A., Moiseeva Yu. V., Onufriev M. V., Stepanichev M. Yu., Yakovlev A. A., Gekht A. B., Granstrem O. K., Gulyaeva N. V. Zhurn. nevrologii i psikhiatrii im. S. S. Korsakova (in Russian). 2011; 111 (12): 68-73.

For citation:


Views: 183

ISSN 2077-8333 (Print)
ISSN 2311-4088 (Online)