Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children with epilepsy

Pasquale Parisi, Romina Moavero, Alberto Verrotti, Paolo Curatolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is more frequent in children with epilepsy than in general pediatric population. Several factors may contribute to this comorbidity, including the underlying brain pathology, the chronic effects of seizures and of the epileptiform EEG discharges, and the effects of antiepileptic drugs. Symptoms of ADHD are more common in some specific types of epilepsies, such as frontal lobe epilepsy, childhood absence epilepsy and Rolandic epilepsy, and may antedate seizure onset in a significant proportion of cases. In epileptic children with symptoms of ADHD, treatment might become a challenge for child neurologists, who are forced to prescribe drugs combinations, to improve the long-term cognitive and behavioral prognosis. Treatment with psychotropic drugs can be initiated safely in most children with epilepsy and ADHD symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • ADHD
  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Childhood absence epilepsy
  • Frontal lobe epilepsy
  • Methylphenidate
  • Rolandic epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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