Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Non-epileptic seizures in children: views and approaches

Andrew McWilliams, Colin Reilly and Isobel Heyman.  Non-epileptic seizures in children: views and approaches at a UK child and adolescent psychiatry conference.    Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy.  In press.  Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, In press.



To describe clinical experiences of paediatric non-epileptic seizures (NES) among doctors attending a UK child and adolescent psychiatry [conference].


Sixty-six participants completed a semi-structured bespoke questionnaire.


are reported using descriptive statistics.


Two-thirds of respondents regarded the best name for the disorder to be “non-epileptic seizures”. Although most doctors saw new cases each year, two-thirds described their own service as poorly equipped to manage NES. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) were commonly still being taken by children without epilepsy 6 months after their diagnosis. Preferred treatment approaches included supportive case management and cognitive-behavioural therapy. Joint working with paediatrics and liaison with schools were seen as important.


Despite many clinicians having experience of the disorder, NES seemed to occupy a neglected status, often falling between paediatrics and child mental health, with inadequately defined care pathways leading to sub-optimal treatment. Re-configuration of services to prioritise liaison with paediatrics and education may support development of effective treatment, thus maximising health, social and educational opportunities for young people and their families.

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