Epidemiology

The incidence of epilepsy ranges from 0.8 to 1.1 per cent of the general population. (51..) It is the most common of the neurological diseases diagnosed in children. Approximately 50 per cent of all cases of epilepsy begin during the childhood years and about 5 per cent of children will experience repeated epileptic seizures without a known extracerebral cause. In addition, about 3 per cent of children will have febrile convulsions that are usually benign and accompany a febrile illness. The great majority of these children, approximately 98 per cent, do not go on to develop true epilepsy. Other causes include hypoglycaemic seizures in children with diabetes. In some instances, as in tuberous sclerosis complex, cognitive impairment and autistic regression with onset in the first year of life, are linked to epilepsy; and in others there is a late onset of language disorder as in the Laudau- Kleffner syndrome.

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