To try to understand the causative role of epilepsy per se in the developmental deterioration of brain injured infants, twenty-eight infants affected with early acquired, pre- and perinatal brain injuries were enrolled and divided into three groups, a) those with West syndrome, b) those with other non-West epilepsies, and c) those without epilepsy. Developmental monitoring consisted of a full clinical assessment, including examination of visual function, Griffiths developmental scales, standard EEG, long-term monitoring when necessary, and MRI, from the seizure onset or the first observation to the end of follow-up. Patients with epilepsy showed at study onset abnormal clinical features (neurological and developmental) distinct from those of non-epileptic patients, partially due to the varying severity of their brain injuries. A definite differentiation between groups was observed in the clinical evolution that showed among the epileptic patients, mostly in West syndrome, a significant deterioration. Moreover, impaired visual function at seizure onset was possibly associated with a bad developmental evolution. A developmental deterioration, mostly in West syndrome, accounts for a causative role of the epileptic disorder per se, but in few cases it was also observed in infants with only a brain injury, suggesting other aetiopathogenic mechanisms. The predictive value of early visual function seems to be confirmed.
- brain-injured infants
- early development
- early onset symptomatic epilepsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health