Neonatal Epileptic Encephalopathies

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2021 Apr;37:100880. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2021.100880. Epub 2021 Mar 4.


The majority of neonatal seizures are related to common diagnoses, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and intraventricular hemorrhage. While relatively uncommon, neonatal epileptic encephalopathies represent an important group of neonatal seizure disorders that require immediate diagnosis and intervention. In this review, we provide a summary of the benign and severe neonatal epilepsy syndromes. While benign epilepsy syndromes have favorable prognoses, rapid and accurate diagnosis may prevent an unnecessarily long course of antiseizure medications. The severe epilepsy syndromes may be related to a number of underlying genetic disorders and often carry a poor prognosis. Herein we review diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, and provide a set or algorithms for said purposes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy* / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases*
  • Seizures