Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 984124, 8 pages
Review Article

Cognitive Outcome of Status Epilepticus in Children

1Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, CP 6128, succ Centre Ville, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7
2CHU Sainte-Justine, 3175 Côte Ste-Catherine, Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 1C5

Received 15 March 2012; Accepted 9 July 2012

Academic Editor: Nicola Specchio

Copyright © 2012 Emilie Sheppard and Sarah Lippé. 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 encephalopathy encompasses conditions in which cognitive, motor, or sensory deficits result as a consequence of epileptic activity defining certain syndromes. It therefore represents a more severe subset of epilepsy, which can be generally characterized as frequent or severe seizures leading to cerebral dysfunction. This disturbance in cerebral functioning can in turn hinder, somewhat dramatically, cognitive development and further impact the future lives of patients. In this paper, we describe the cognitive consequences of status epilepticus in children and in adults in the context of plasticity theories. Recent studies maintain that consequences of SE may be severe cognitive sequelae, especially in early life. Since the residual consequences of SE in adulthood seem less detrimental and long-lasting, we argue that early life insults, such as those created by SE, during a rapid period of development and functional specialization, result in specific cognitive deficits dependent on the sensitive period at which SE occurred.