October 23, 2018

Staring Spells Are Epileptic Seizures Half the Time, Clinic Review Finds

Children with staring spells who were referred to a new-onset seizure (NOS) clinic were found to have epileptic seizures about half the time, according to findings presented here at the Child Neurology Society annual meeting. The results were based on review of data from a clinic at Emory University.

Researchers said the diverging findings for these patients underscore the value of NOS clinics to steer children down the proper path, particularly for the presenting feature of staring spells, which is so commonly seen in children.

“We need to take staring spells seriously. EEG on the same day [as the initial presentation] can expedite care and provide rapid, accurate diagnoses for both epileptic and non-epileptic spells,” Dr. Koh said. The bottom line is that “we should not be dismissive of staring spells.”

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