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J Child Neurol. 2002 Jan;17 Suppl 1:S28-35.

Diagnostic difficulty in infants and children.

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Children's Epilepsy Center, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614-3394, USA.


Making an accurate diagnosis is the first and most critical step in the treatment of pediatric epilepsy, but it can be a daunting challenge for clinicians. Seizure types and syndromes in infants and very young children do not present with the same clarity and consistency as in adults. Work is currently being done to revise traditional International League Against Epilepsy classifications to make it easier for physicians to accurately diagnose and effectively treat epilepsy in infants and young children. A simplified approach can be formed by combining some of the International League Against Epilepsy recommendations with new findings on the clinical manifestations of pediatric seizures. Refinements in the new system will occur as knowledge of the pathophysiology of epilepsy and genetic susceptibilities expands, but even in its early stages the new classification system has much to offer, resulting in improved patient care and more effective management of the disease.

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