Child Health Topics

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological conditionExternal Link that is characterized by unprovoked, recurrent seizures that disrupt communication among brain cells. The CDC estimatesExternal Link that 467,711 children in the United States between 0-17 years of age have epilepsy. In addition, about 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lives. Seizures and epilepsy have a serious impact on the lives of children and youth. The potentially devastating effect of epilepsy on brain development in early childhood is one of the most challenging aspects of the disorder, and childhood seizures can have a measurably negative effect on educational achievement.

The goal of eliminating seizures while preventing side effects is potentially achievable for many children and youth. However, organized systems of services are not in place to uniformly provide timely access to care that could improve the quality of life for children and youth with epilepsy.

What NICHQ is Doing

Through two projects, NICHQ has worked to improve access to comprehensive, coordinated healthcare and related services for children and youth with epilepsy.

Resources for Providers and Parents

These resources were developed as part of NICHQ's work to improve care for children with epilepsy. The teams participating in our projects identified and tested a number of tools that families and providers could use to support quality improvement within systems of care for children with epilepsy.

IOM Report - Epilepsy Across the Spectrum

Epilepsy Across the Spectrum:
Promoting Health and Understanding

This reportExternal Link, published in 2012 by the Institute of Medicine, provides realistic, feasible, and action-oriented recommendations to help enable short- and long-term improvements for people with epilepsy. to provide information about the number of people who are affected by asthma in the states that are part of the CDC National Asthma Control Program.