Long-term outcome in children with temporal lobe seizures. I: Social outcome and childhood factors

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1979 Jun;21(3):285-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1979.tb01621.x.


One-hundred children, diagnosed as having temporal lobe epilepsy and reported on in 1966, have been followed into adult life. In this 1977 survey they have been coded into four social outcome categories, A, B, C and D. A: 33 per cent are found to be seizure-free and independent; B: 21 per cent are socially and economically independent but are receiving anticonvulsant treatment and are not necessarily seizure-free; C: O9 per cent are dependent either on their parents or in institutions; D: 5 per cent died under the age of 15. Biological factors ascertained and coded in childhood are related to adult outcome. Eight adverse factors emerged: an IQ below 90, onset of seizures before 2 years 4 months, five or more grand mal attacks, temporal lobe seizure frequency of one per day or more, a left-sided focus, the hyperkinetic syndrome, catastrophic rage and special schooling. The presence of first-degree relatives with seizure disorders was a good prognostic sign. Disorderly homes in childhood did not significantly affect adult outcome. All but one of those achieving Group A status had received normal schooling. In general, the prognosis for children with limbic seizures is clear before the end of adolescence. A simple count of the number of childhood adverse factors predicts adult outcome at a high level of significance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disabled Persons
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Education, Special
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / etiology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / mortality
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / psychology*
  • Epilepsy, Tonic-Clonic / psychology
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperkinesis / psychology
  • Institutionalization
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Rage
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Status Epilepticus / psychology