Article published by Epilepsy Today
The research, by Miraç Yildirim and colleagues, investigated characteristics in children with epilepsy who had become seizure free with epilepsy medicines and who were able to come off their medicines. They wanted to find out if any characteristics could be used to predict whether the children would end up having returning seizures.
The research included 269 children who were seizure free and able to come off their epilepsy medicines. They were followed up for at least 18 months after epilepsy medicines were stopped.
The researchers found that around a third of the children (33.5%) ended up having breakthrough seizures. Of them, just under half (45.6%) had had their seizures return at six months, and around three quarters (74.4%) of them had had seizures at two years. Almost all (94.4%) of this group had returning seizures five years after stopping taking epilepsy medicines.
Among the characteristics studied, three of them predicted a higher chance of having returning seizures after coming off epilepsy medicines. These were adolescent age at diagnosis, unusual EEG findings after the epilepsy medicines were stopped, and having a high number of seizures while taking epilepsy medicines.