AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Young Adults With Uncomplicated Epilepsy Fare as Well as Their Siblings

Study assessed social outcomes after 15 years of childhood onset epilepsy

A 15-year follow-up study of young adults with epilepsy found that those with uncomplicated epilepsy who were seizure-free for five years or more did as well as their siblings without epilepsy in measures of education, employment, family arrangements and driving status. Youth with complicated epilepsy had worse social outcomes and were less likely to drive, even if living without seizures. “So far, there has been conflicting data on whether adults with uncomplicated childhood-onset epilepsy have worse social outcomes compared to people without epilepsy,” said senior author Anne T. Berg, PhD, from Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “Our study provides further evidence that children growing up with uncomplicated epilepsy who stay seizure-free have a favorable prognosis. However, if they do not achieve five-year seizure remission, young adults with uncomplicated epilepsy are less likely to drive and graduate high school. They also tend to be less productively engaged and not live independently. These results show how critically important it is to control seizures.”

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