Treatment issues for children with epilepsy transitioning to adult care

Rima Nabbout, Carol S. Camfield, Danielle M. Andrade, Alexis Arzimanoglou, Catherine Chiron, Joyce A. Cramer, Jacqueline A. French, Eric Kossoff, Marco Mula, Peter R. Camfield

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This is the third of three papers that summarize the second symposium on Transition in Epilepsies held in Paris in June 2016. This paper focuses on treatment issues that arise during the course of childhood epilepsy and make the process of transition to adult care more complicated. Some AEDs used during childhood, such as stiripentol, vigabatrin, and cannabidiol, are unfamiliar to adult epilepsy specialists. In addition, new drugs are being developed for treatment of specific childhood onset epilepsy syndromes and have no indication yet for adults. The ketogenic diet may be effective during childhood but is difficult to continue in adult care. Regional adult epilepsy diet clinics could be helpful. Polytherapy is common for patients transitioning to adult care. Although these complex AED regimes are difficult, they are often possible to simplify. AEDs used in childhood may need to be reconsidered in adulthood. Rescue medications to stop prolonged seizures and clusters of seizures are in wide home use in children and can be continued in adulthood. Adherence/compliance is notoriously difficult for adolescents, but there are simple clinical approaches that should be helpful. Mental health issues including depression and anxiety are not always diagnosed and treated in children and young adults even though effective treatments are available. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and aggressive behavior disorders may interfere with transition and successful adulthood but these can be treated. For the majority, the adult social outcome of children with epilepsy is unsatisfactory with few proven interventions. The interface between pediatric and adult care for children with epilepsy is becoming increasingly complicated with a need for more comprehensive transition programs and adult epileptologists who are knowledgeable about special treatments that benefit this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Adult
  • Compliance
  • Mental health
  • Pediatric
  • Transition
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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