All developmental disabilities and many epilepsy syndromes begin in childhood. However, both often persist into adolescence and adulthood. Among patients with epilepsy, the presence of a developmental disability predicts a more difficult road for the patient, the patient’s family and caregivers. Sixty-nine percent of children with epilepsy and mental handicap have at least one additional diagnosis:
Individuals with developmental disabilities and epilepsy have:
The range of metabolic, genetic, and acquired causes of developmental disabilities is vast. The relationship between the etiology of the disability and epilepsy may be complex, although in most cases, a single underlying brain abnormality or insult to the brain causes both disorders.