Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Prevalence and Associated Features of Epilepsy in Adults with Down's Syndrome

  • R. W. McVicker (a1), O. E. P. Shanks (a1) and R. J. McClelland (a2)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of epilepsy in persons with Down's syndrome aged 19 years and over. A total of 191 adults with Down's syndrome were identified, giving a prevalence of 0.76/1000 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.77). Of these, 18 had epilepsy, giving a prevalence of 9.4% (95% CI 5.3% to 13.5%). The prevalence of epilepsy increased with age, reaching 46% in those over 50. The neurophysiological (EEG) findings of the epilepsy group were compared with those of a control group of Down's syndrome adults without epilepsy. Paroxysmal abnormalities consistent with a diagnosis of epilepsy were found in 80% of the epilepsy group, compared with only 13% of controls (P < 0.001). Epilepsy of late onset was associated with diffuse EEG abnormalities and clinical evidence of dementia. The age distribution and EEG findings suggest two independent processes in the causation of epilepsy: late-onset epilepsy associated with clinical evidence of dementia, and early-onset epilepsy in the absence of dementia.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence

References

Hide All
Carter, G. & Jancar, J. (1983) Mortality in the mentally handicapped: a 50 year survey at the Stoke Park Group of Hospitals (1930–1980). Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 27, 143156.
Cork, L. C. (1990) Neuropathology of Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. American Journal of Medical Genetics (suppl. 7), 282286.
Evenhuis, H. M. (1990) The natural history of dementia in Down's syndrome. Archives of Neurology, 47, 263267.
Fenton, G. W. (1986) The EEG, epilepsy and psychiatry. In What is Epilepsy? (eds Trimble, M. R. & Reynolds, E. H.), p. 139. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Forsgren, L., Edvinsson, S. O., Blomquist, H. K., et al (1990) Epilepsy in a population of mentally retarded children and adults. Epilepsy Research, 6, 234248.
Hauser, W. A., Morris, M. L., Heston, L. L., et al (1986) Seizures and myoclonus in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neurology, 36, 12261230.
International League Against Epilepsy: Commission on Classification and Terminology (1981) Proposal for revised clinical and electroencephalographic classification of epileptic seizures. Epilepsia, 22, 489501.
Jervis, G. A. (1948) Early senile dementia in mongoloid idiocy. American Journal of Psychiatry, 105, 102106.
Kirman, B. H. (1951) Epilepsy in mongolism. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 26, 501503.
Lai, F. & Williams, R. S. (1989) A prospective study of Alzheimer's disease in Down's syndrome. Archives of Neurology, 46, 849853.
Langdon Down, H. J. (1866) Observations on an ethnic classification of idiots. Clinical Lectures and Reports, London Hospital, 3, 259262.
MacGillivray, R. C. (1967) Epilepsy in Down's anomaly. Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 11, 4348.
Mallon, J. R., MacKay, D. N., McDonald, G., et al (1991) The prevalence of severe mental handicap in Northern Ireland, Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 35, 6672.
Mattson, R. H., Cramer, J. A., Collins, J. F., et al (1992) A comparison of valproate with carbamazepine for the treatment of complex partial seizures and secondarily generalised tonic–clonic seizures in adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 327, 765771.
Miniszek, N. A. (1983) Development of Alzheimer disease in Down syndrome individuals. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 87, 377385.
Oliver, C. & Holland, A. J. (1986) Down's syndrome and Alzheimer's disease: a review. Psychological Medicine, 16, 307322.
Olson, M. I. & Shaw, C. M. (1969) Presenile dementia and Alzheimer's disease in mongols. Brain, 92, 147156.
Pueschel, S. M., Louis, S. & McKnight, P. (1991) Seizure disorders in Down syndrome. Archives of Neurology, 48, 318320.
Romano, C., Tine, A., Fazio, G., et al (1990) Seizures in patients with trisomy 21. American Journal of Medical Genetics, (suppl. 7), 298300.
Schweber, M. S. (1989) Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research, 317, 247267.
Slater, E. & Roth, M. (1969) Mental subnormality. In Clinical Psychiatry, p. 722. London: Bailliere, Tindall & Cassell.
Tangye, S. R. (1979) The EEG and incidence of epilepsy in Down's syndrome. Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 23, 1724.
Veall, R. M. (1974) The prevalence of epilepsy among mongols related to age. Journal of Mental Deficiency Research, 18, 99106.
Wisniewski, K. D., Dalton, A. J., Crapper, D. R., et al (1985) Alzheimer's disease in Down's syndrome: clinicopathological studies. Neurology, 35, 957961.
Zigman, W. B., Schupf, N., Lubin, R. A., et al (1987) Premature regression of adults with Down's syndrome. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 92, 161168.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Prevalence and Associated Features of Epilepsy in Adults with Down's Syndrome

  • R. W. McVicker (a1), O. E. P. Shanks (a1) and R. J. McClelland (a2)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *