Comorbidities in pediatric epilepsy: Beyond "just" treating the seizures

Lorie D. Hamiwka, E. C. Wirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The goal of this review is to discuss the comorbidities reported in specific epilepsy syndromes to examine possible underlying causes or associations and to present data on current therapies for these conditions. Comorbid conditions including cognitive impairment, neuropsychiatric problems, and social difficulties are common in children with epilepsy, and often more disabling than the seizures themselves. Biological factors associated with a greater risk of comorbidity in epilepsy include younger age at seizure onset, cognitive impairment, temporal or frontal lobe onset, and intractability. Social factors correlating with greater risk include lower socioeconomic status, lower parental education level, and poorer family function. These comorbid conditions not only have a significant impact on the child but also are a source of increased stress and burden for families. Increased awareness and early diagnosis of these conditions may affect therapeutic intervention and long-term outcome as well as assist in better understanding of potential risk factors and biological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-742
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of child neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009


  • Attention
  • Comorbidities
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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