Epilepsy & Developmental Disorders
Children whose language skills regress early in life (before the age of 3) appear to have a higher than normal risk of developing epilepsy.
In fact, one in four children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder will develop seizures. These may not start in early childhood, as they can start as late as adolescence.
A link has been shown between children with Down syndrome and epilepsy.
Individuals with Down syndrome have a higher rate of developing seizures in comparison to the general population. While the reason for this has not been fully explained, it is suspected that individuals with Down syndrome are susceptible to seizures due to abnormalities in the structure or function of the brain.
The prevalence of epilepsy advances with age. The onset of seizures can occur at two stages of life: either at a very young age or in the third decade of life. At a younger age, individuals with Down syndrome are susceptible of developing infantile spasms and grand-mal seizures.
However, in the young child with Down syndrome, seizures are no more common than in the general population.
It is beginning at age 20-30 that the incidence of seizure disorders rises substantially in the Down syndrome population.
Individuals in the third decade of life are more susceptible to developing simple partial or complex partial seizures in addition to grand-mal seizures. It is estimated that 46% of Down's patients older than the age of 50 have a diagnosis of epilepsy.
Research continues as to whether the occurrence of seizures in people with Down syndrome is related to the aging of the brain.
Nearly half of children with cerebral palsy experience seizures.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders which are typically caused by some amount of injury to the brain or head before, during, or shortly after birth. Since the disorder is caused in this way, many people with cerebral palsy suffer from seizures.
Conventionally speaking, cerebral palsy is not a seizure disorder like epilepsy. Cerebral palsy may be mistaken for such a seizure disorder, but cerebral palsy is a non-progressive group of disorders. Therefore, the symptoms of cerebral palsy do not get worse or better over time.