Subtle Seizures

When a child has poorly controlled seizures along with learning problems, it is easy to picture the seizure discharges short-circuiting vital learning pathways.

However, children who have good seizure control or only a few seizures and still have learning difficulties may be having seizure activity in the brain with no obvious or apparent seizure. These are called subclinical epileptiform discharges, and can be seen on EEG. They are seizure-like discharges, shorter lasting than a seizure, but can affect learning if happening regularly.

Thinking and learning can be temporarily affected and the child’s responses disrupted at these times. Sometimes the ‘disruptions’ may be very subtle.

Some doctors believe they can impact the child’s attention, behaviour, memory and language.

Click on the video to hear Dr Stephen Malone, Paediatric Neurologist and Epileptologist, define subclinical seizures.

Subclinical seizures