Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 403592, 8 pages
Research Article

Epileptic Encephalopathies: An Overview

1Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, P.O. Box 7897, Riyadh 11159, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Pediatrics, University of Dammam and King Fahad Specialist Hospital, P.O. Box 2435, Dammam 31451, Saudi Arabia

Received 25 February 2012; Accepted 12 September 2012

Academic Editor: Nicola Specchio

Copyright © 2012 Sonia Khan and Raidah Al Baradie. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Epileptic encephalopathies are an epileptic condition characterized by epileptiform abnormalities associated with progressive cerebral dysfunction. In the classification of the International League Against Epilepsy eight age-related epileptic encephalopathy syndromes are recognized. These syndromes include early myoclonic encephalopathy and Ohtahara syndrome in the neonatal period, West syndrome and Dravet syndrome in infancy, myoclonic status in nonprogressive encephalopathies, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Landau-Kleffner syndrome, and epilepsy with continuous spike waves during slow wave sleep in childhood and adolescences. Other epileptic syndromes such as migrating partial seizures in infancy and severe epilepsy with multiple independent spike foci may be reasonably added. In this paper, we provide an overview of epileptic encephalopathies including clinical neurophysiological features, cognitive deterioration, and management options especially that these conditions are generally refractory to standard antiepileptic drugs.