Neonatal epileptic seizures and neonatal epileptic syndromes

  • C P Panayiotopoulos


Neonatal epileptic seizures occur from birth to the end of the neonatal period.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 This is the most vulnerable of all the other periods of life for the development of epileptic seizures, particularly in the first 1 or 2 days from birth. Neonatal seizures differ from those of older children and adults. They may be short-lived events lasting for just a few days, but they often signify serious malfunction or damage of the immature brain, and constitute a neurological emergency that demands urgent diagnosis and management. Most neonatal seizures are acute (provoked, occasional, reactive) symptomatic seizures caused by an acute illness such as hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, stroke or infection. Seizures are the most common and important sign of acute neonatal encephalopathy; they are a major risk for death or subsequent neurological disability and, by themselves, may contribute to an adverse neurodevelopmental outcome.


Neonatal Seizure Epileptic Encephalopathy Tonic Seizure Epileptic Syndrome Tonic Spasm 
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