John Libbey Eurotext

Developmental delay and epilepsy Volume 8, supplément 1, Supplement 1, April 2006

Service de pédiatrie, Hôpital Alix-de-Champagne, Reims, Hôpital Américain, Service de pédiatrie, Reims, France

Developmental delay can be associated with epilepsy. Epilepsy might be either the cause of the delay of acquisitions (epileptogenic encephalopathy) or only one additional manifestation, the consequence of the underlying neurological pathology (encephalopathy with epilepsy); it is therefore not the only factor responsible for delay. Within the framework of encephalopathies with epilepsy a rigorous diagnosis is necessary with, in particular a cutaneous examination (neuro-cutaneous syndromes), a precise clinical examination (anoxo-ischaemic sequelae of the perinatal period), an EEG, a cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as the search for associated abnomalities (cardiac, renal…). There are also epileptogenic encephalopathies such as age-related syndromes: Hemiconvulsions-Hemiplegia-Epilepsy syndrome; Rasmussen’s syndrome; Dravet’s syndrome; myoclono-astatic epilepsy (Doose). Age at onset and type of seizures, as well as ictal and interictal EEG finding provide valuable hints for a specific diagnosis, while other investigation are usually not contributive. Developmental delay and epilepsy are frequently associated. One of the first steps to diagnosis consists in trying to establish the eventual causal role of the epilepsy. Answering this question may prove to be of primary importance for the choice of a therapeutic strategy and/or further etiological investigations.