[Aspects of epilepsy in childhood (author's transl)].Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1975 Aug 15; 87(15):475-80.WK
Between 3700 and 3900 children are admitted annually to this children's hospital. During the past four years a total of 455 children with convulsions were admitted for investigation. 255 of these cases were calcified as epilepsy, 202 as febrile convulsions and 28 as neonatal convulsions. A quarter of the epileptic children showed fits of the petit mal type. There were only 5 cases of infantile propulsive petit mal. High frequency of fits and, in particular, status epilepticus, were very rarely seen in the present study. A case of self-induced photosensitive epilepsy, later combined with psychomotor epilepsy, is referred to in detail. Of 149 children with grand mal epilepsy, 36 were classed as idiopathic, and 88 as symptomatic cases. 37 of the symptomatic cases showed focal epilepsy with generalisation. It was concluded from the clinical course and the EEG that the combined effects of familial predisposition towards fits and exogenous cerebral lesions were operative factors in 14 patients. Children with febrile, convulsions possessed an EEG suggestive of a familial predisposition towards fits in slightly more than 50% of the cases. No cause could be found for the seizures in 5 infants with neonatal convulsions, but the mother of one of these infants was an epileptic herself, undergoing treatment with anticonvulsive drugs in high dosage and a withdrawal syndrome was suspected in this particular case. 17 infants with neonatal convulsions were symptomless on leaving hospital and remained so during the first year of life. Of the remaining cases, 10 showed neurological disturbances and one died. There was only one case in which neonatal convulsions progressed directly to epilepsy. The peak incidence of the first appearance of fits occurred during the first year of life (136 children), with 18% of the entire case material presenting within the first 6 months. 108 children presented with fits for the first time during the second year of life. Thereafter, the tendency towards the development of fits for the first time in life declined with increasing age.