Expanding awareness of Childhood Absence Epilepsy helps early diagnosis and treatment

WASHINGTONMay 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The subtlety of childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) seizures, coupled with their close association with learning and mental health difficulties, can delay diagnosis despite CAE being one of the most common pediatric syndromes in the United States, according to a new expert-led clinical proceedings paper from the Clinical Neurological Society of America.

Childhood absence epilepsy seizures are brief staring spells with loss of awareness that cannot be interrupted by voice or touch. Seizures can occur multiple times per day. CAE may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because it can be mistaken for ADHD or be difficult for parents, teachers and other caregivers to recognize. While CAE usually remits within two years of onset or by early adolescence, the impact on children’s social and emotional health can be long term.

The paper, Childhood Absence Epilepsy: An Underrecognized Condition, Yet Easily Diagnosed and Treated, is authored by four pediatric neurologists and calls for:

  • Improving awareness of the disease among parents, teachers, health care providers and the community at large;
  • Increasing understanding of its link to ADHD and other learning and mental health challenges; and
  • Improving access to diagnosis and treatment.

Expert Panelists:

  • Katy Lalor, MD (Clinical Proceedings Chair)
  • Allison Conravey, MD
  • Sudha Kilaru Kessler, MD
  • Elaine C. Wirrell, MD

Statement from Katy Lalor, MD, Clinical Proceedings Chair:

“Expanding awareness among the public of CAE is the first step to earlier diagnosis and treatment. And with a greater understanding of CAE’s link to ADHD and other learning and mental health challenges, we can reduce the burden of this disease and improve the short-term and long-term outcomes of these children.”


Source: prnewswire.com, Clinical Neurological Society of America