Last updated on November 2018

Longitudinal Early Epilepsy Study


Are you eligible to participate in this study?

You may be eligible for this study if you meet the following criteria:

  • Conditions: Absence seizure
  • Age: Between 6 - 12 Years
  • Gender: Male or Female

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Primarily presented with daily occurring episodes of brief loss of consciousness (absences) in an otherwise normal child in the previous 2 years.
  2. An EEG showing 3 Hz (2.5-4.5 Hz) generalized rhythmic spike-and-wave complexes with a discharge duration of at least 3 seconds on a present or former EEG(58).
  3. Early absence epilepsy , defined as a confirmed diagnosis or seizures within 2 years.
  4. Aged 6-12 years
  5. Permitted accompanying factors:
    • A few generalized tonic-clonic seizures (assessed individually according to International League Against Epilepsy [ILAE] statements;
    • Mild myoclonic eye(lid) movements
    • Co-morbidities: Attention deficiency/concentration disorders, autism, dyslexia and anxiety. These do not form exclusion criteria as this is frequently seen in children with absence seizures and it might be uncertain if the co-morbidity is a manifestation of the absence epilepsy.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • A potential subject (both for the control and patient group) who meets any of the following criteria will be excluded from participation in this study:
  • A diagnosis according to ILAE criteria of the following epilepsy syndromes: Juvenile Absence Epilepsy; Eyelid myoclonia with absences; Dravet syndrome; Epilepsy with myoclonic-atonic seizures; Epilepsy with Myoclonic Absences; Lennox-Gastaut syndrome; Frontal Lobe Epilepsy or other focal epilepsy.
  • A confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy/seizures for more than 2 years (59).
  • Recent hospitalizations in the last months or a history which might limit participation in or completion of the study protocol.
  • Behavioural characteristics which might hamper the gathering of useful MRI data.
  • Intellectual disability or other diseases/causes that may underlie cognitive impairment (i.e. neurodegenerative diseases).
  • History of major head trauma or head/brain surgery.
  • MRI lesions on (previous) structural brain MRI- or CT-scans or symptomatic epilepsies (e.g. epilepsy related to tumours, vascular abnormalities, congenital dysgenesia).
  • MRI contra-indications: claustrophobia, anxiety for an MRI scan, or presence of metallic objects (e.g. prostheses, pacemakers, metal clips on blood vessels, metal parts in the eye). Dental braces are no exclusion criterion for absence patients.
  • Regularly using drugs of abuse (asked during screening session).
  • Parents or participants (aged12 years) not willing to provide informed consent.
  • Parents or participants (aged12 years) who do not want to get informed whenever structural abnormalities are found during imaging.

Recruitment Status: Open


Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team


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