Inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) are a rare cause of epilepsy, but seizures and epilepsy are frequently encountered in patients with IEM. Since these disorders are related to inherited enzyme deficiencies with resulting effects on metabolic/biochemical pathways, the term "metabolic epilepsy" can be used to include these conditions. These epilepsies can present across the life span, and share features of refractoriness to anti-epileptic drugs, and are often associated with co-morbid developmental delay/regression, intellectual, and behavioral impairments. Some of these disorders are amenable to specific treatment interventions; hence timely and appropriate diagnosis is critical to improve outcomes. In this review, we discuss those disorders in which epilepsy is a dominant feature and present an approach to the clinical recognition, diagnosis, and management of these disorders, with a greater focus on primarily treatable conditions. Finally, we propose a tiered approach that will permit a clinician to systematically investigate, identify, and treat these rare disorders.
Keywords: biochemical testing; epilepsy; genetic; glucose transporter defect; inborn errors of metabolism; pyridoxine dependent epilepsy; seizures.