April 4, 2018

Early-Life Epilepsy Should Be Urgently Treated With Evidence-Based Medicine

Lessons from the world of pediatric oncology

Early-life epilepsy should be treated with the same urgency as pediatric cancer, according to an articlepublished online April 4 in Neurology.

Anne T. Berg, Ph.D., and Stewart Goldman, M.D., from the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, discuss the quantity and quality of evidence needed to guide the evaluation and treatment to optimize outcomes of children with epilepsies. The incidence of epilepsy in the first two years of life is about 80 per 100,000 per year; early-life epilepsies are often difficult to treat and complex, and are associated with lasting consequences and high risk for early mortality.

“Epilepsies in infants and young children should be treated with the urgency that we see in pediatric oncology,” Berg said in a statement. “Right away these children should receive a comprehensive evaluation that includes thorough genetic testing, so that we can match treatment to the precise cause of their epilepsy in order to achieve optimal outcomes. This is the age of precision medicine and we have the tools to make a profound difference for these young patients.”

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