Boronat S, et al. Seizures and electroencephalography findings in 61 patients with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Eur J Med Genet. 2017 January; 60 (1): 72-78.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) cause neurodevelopmental abnormalities. However, publications about epilepsy and electroencephalographic features are scarce. In this study, we prospectively performed electroencephalography (EEG) and brain magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in 61 patients with diagnosis of FASD. One patient had multiple febrile seizures with normal EEGs. Fourteen children showed EEG anomalies, including slow background activity and interictal epileptiform discharges, focal and/or generalized, and 3 of them had epilepsy. In one patient, seizures were first detected during the EEG recording and one case had an encephalopathy with electrical status epilepticus during slow sleep (ESES). Focal interictal discharges in our patients did not imply the presence of underlying visible focal brain lesions in the neuroimaging studies, such as cortical dysplasia or polymicrogyria. However, they had nonspecific brain MR abnormalities, including corpus callosum hypoplasia, vermis hypoplasia or cavum septum pellucidum. The latter was significantly more frequent in the group with EEG abnormal findings (p < 0.01).
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Nicita F, et al. Seizures in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: evaluation of clinical, electroencephalographic, and neuroradiologic features in a pediatric case series. Epilepsia. 2014 Jun;55(6):e60-6.
Seizures are observed with a frequency of 3-21% in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). However, clinical, neuroradiologic, and electroencephalography (EEG) features are poorly described. In this study, 13 patients with FASD and epilepsy or seizures were identified retrospectively from the databases of seven Italian pediatric neurology divisions. Eleven children were affected by epilepsy, and two had at least one documented seizure. Both generalized and focal seizures were observed. EEG showed diffuse or focal epileptic activity; two children developed electric status epilepticus during sleep (ESES). Structural brain anomalies, including polymicrogyria, nodular heterotopia, atrophy, and Arnold-Chiari type 1 malformation, were discovered in almost 50% of patients. Control of seizures was not difficult to obtain in 11 cases; one patient showed pharmacoresistant epilepsy. EEG and clinical follow-up are recommended in children with FASD and epilepsy, since severe conditions requiring aggressive treatment, such as in ESES, may develop. Neuroradiological evaluation is warranted because several types of brain anomalies could be associated with maternal alcoholconsumption during pregnancy.