Febrile seizures: current views and investigations

Can J Neurol Sci. 2009 Nov;36(6):679-86. doi: 10.1017/s0317167100008246.


Febrile seizures (FSs) are seizures that occur during fever, usually at the time of a cold or flu, and represent the most common cause of seizures in the pediatric population. Up to 5% of children between the ages of six months and five years-of-age will experience a FS. Clinically these seizures are categorized as benign events with little impact on the growth and development of the child. However, studies have linked the occurrence of FSs to an increased risk of developing adult epileptic disorders. There are many unanswered questions about FSs, such as the mechanism of their generation, the long-term effects of these seizures, and their role in epileptogenesis. Answers are beginning to emerge based on results from animal studies. This review summarizes the current literature on animal models of FSs, mechanisms underlying the seizures, and functional, structural, and molecular changes that may result from them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Seizures, Febrile / epidemiology
  • Seizures, Febrile / etiology*
  • Seizures, Febrile / metabolism*
  • Seizures, Febrile / pathology*