Epilepsy

Description
Data of epilepsy up to age 14 years.

Coverage
Target population, live born children: N = 12 058 (100%)

Data obtained: N = 208

Data collection
The data were collected during 14-year follow-up by examining epicrises of neurology policlinics and hospital discharge records, and registers of the The Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

The collection of information on the development and morbidity of these children up to the age of 14 years was started during the pregnancy of the mother in 1965. All children were examined at the age of 1 year by public health nurses who, for each child, filled in a guestionnaire dealing with development, morbidity in the 1st year and present state of health [11, 12]. Infants (n = 793) with increased risk of seguelae because of perinatal problems underwent a neuropaed- iatric examination at the age of 1 year [20]. Data on admissions to the four paediatric units in the region were collected up to 1972, from which time onwards use could be made of the national hospital discharge register, the purpose of which is to count all hospital admissions in the country [20]. Information on morbidity was also collected from the national register of death certificates, authorisations for reimbursement of drug charges, awards of child subsidies for children with chronic disease. At the age of 14 a guestionnaire dealing with present morbidity and school performance was filled in by the families, school health officers and nurses. In 1983 all case histories of the children in the cohort who had visited the regional hospitals because of neurological symptoms or diseases were reviewed by one of the authors (L.v.W.).

In this study epilepsy was considered to have been present if there had been at least one episode of paroxysmal disturbances of consciousness, sensation or movement, primarily cerebral in origin and unassociated with acute febrile episodes. Children with febrile convulsions, blank spells, temper tantrum's and transient convulsions occurring in close relationship to CNS-trauma, CNS-infection or other intercurrent disorder were not included. The subclassification was as far as possible based on the International Classification [3, 5]. The diagnosis had been confirmed by EEG in 196 out of the 208 patients. In doubtful cases the most probable type of epilepsy was used for the final classification, putting more emphasis on the clinical picture.

Main articles
von Wendt L., Rantakallio P., Saukkonen A.-L., Mäkinen H.: Epilepsy and associated handicaps in a 1 year birth cohort in Northern Finland. Eur. J. Pediatr. 1985, 144: 149-151.

Last updated: 10.7.2020