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Despite recent changes in the key criteria required for the diagnosis of epilepsy,1 there remains a population of patients who suffer from seizures that can recur, but do not fit the clinical definition of epilepsy. In 1993, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) developed standard definitions for use in the epidemiological study of epilepsy, including definitions of epilepsy and epileptic seizures.2 At that time, the ILAE created two categories of patients with epileptic seizures who did not necessarily meet the criteria of epilepsy: febrile seizures and benign neonatal seizures. Febrile seizures are acute symptomatic and electrographic seizures that occur in the context of a febrile illness. Benign neonatal seizures are acute symptomatic seizures occurring in the neonatal or infantile period, with a demonstrable electrographic correlate, but are thought to result in a benign outcome and normal development. Since that time, the definition of epilepsy has been revised, and both of these categories of patients have been the subject of further study.3 This chapter will review the most up-to-date information about febrile seizures and benign neonatal seizures.
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