Duchenne muscular dystrophy and epilepsy

M. Pane, S. Messina, C. Bruno, A. D'Amico, M. Villanova, B. Brancalion, S. Sivo, F. Bianco, P. Striano, D. Battaglia, D. Lettori, G. L. Vita, E. Bertini, F. Gualandi, V. Ricotti, A. Ferlini, E. Mercuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cognitive and behavioral difficulties occur in approximately a third of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of epilepsy in a cohort of 222 DMD patients. Epileptic seizures were found in 14 of the 222 DMD patients (6.3%). The age of onset ranged from 3. months to 16. years (mean 7.8). Seizures were more often focal epilepsy (n=6), generalized tonic-clonic seizures (n=4) or absences (n=4). They were present in 12 of the 149 boys with normal IQ (8.1%) and in two of the 73 with mental retardation (2.7%). In two cases the parents did not report any past or present history of seizures but only 'staring episodes' interpreted as a sign of 'poor attention'. In both patients EEG showed the typical pattern observed in childhood absence epilepsy. Our results suggest that the prevalence of epilepsy in our study (6.3%) is higher than in the general pediatric population (0.5-1%). The risk of epilepsy does not appear to increase in patients with mental retardation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-315
Number of pages3
JournalNeuromuscular Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Neurology


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