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Neuromuscul Disord. 2013 Apr;23(4):313-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2013.01.011. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy and epilepsy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Neurology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.


Cognitive and behavioral difficulties occur in approximately a third of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of epilepsy in a cohort of 222 DMD patients. Epileptic seizures were found in 14 of the 222 DMD patients (6.3%). The age of onset ranged from 3 months to 16 years (mean 7.8). Seizures were more often focal epilepsy (n=6), generalized tonic-clonic seizures (n=4) or absences (n=4). They were present in 12 of the 149 boys with normal IQ (8.1%) and in two of the 73 with mental retardation (2.7%). In two cases the parents did not report any past or present history of seizures but only 'staring episodes' interpreted as a sign of 'poor attention'. In both patients EEG showed the typical pattern observed in childhood absence epilepsy. Our results suggest that the prevalence of epilepsy in our study (6.3%) is higher than in the general pediatric population (0.5-1%). The risk of epilepsy does not appear to increase in patients with mental retardation.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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