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Epilepsy Res. 2006 Aug;70 Suppl 1:S34-40. Epub 2006 Jul 11.

A population-based survey of childhood epilepsy in Okayama Prefecture, Japan: reclassification by a newly proposed diagnostic scheme of epilepsies in 2001.

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Department of Child Neurology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.


The purpose of this study is to clarify the usefulness and problems of the newly proposed classification of epilepsies (International League Against Epilepsy: ILAE, 2001) in the epidemiological studies of epilepsy. We previously conducted an epidemiological study in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, in 1999, using the ILAE 1989 classification. Among 250,997 children under 13 years of age, 2220 epileptic patients were ascertained. In this study, we reclassified them according to the ILAE 2001 classification, focusing on axes 2 (seizure types) and 3 (syndromes). We were able to classify 1803 (95.0%) seizure types out of 1899 with detailed clinical information. In focal seizures, the most common were secondarily generalized seizures (88.6%), which generally do not represent a unique anatomic substrate. In generalized seizures, topic-clonic seizures (40.7%) and spasms (21.0%) were the most common. We identified only 269 (12.1%) patients with specific epilepsy syndromes out of the 2220. We classified 1761 patients without specific syndromic diagnoses only by axis 2, but the new concept of epileptic seizure types, representing a unique pathophysiologic mechanism and anatomic substrate, was not very meaningful in most cases, even in those with focal seizures.

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