Epilepsy in Cerebral Palsy: A Brief Narrative Review

Prabhumallikarjun Patil, Amanda R.B. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cerebral palsy is defined as “A group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation, that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain. The motor disorders of cerebral palsy are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, communication, and behavior, by epilepsy, and by secondary musculoskeletal problems [1].” Between 30-40% of people with cerebral palsy also have epilepsy [2-4]. Some of the risk factors for developing epilepsy include low birth weight, low APGAR scores, seizures in the neonatal period and first year of life, positive imaging findings, severity of cerebral palsy, intellectual disability and spasticity. Children with epilepsy and cerebral palsy often experience their first seizure before 2 years of age, and may have a higher risk for refractory epilepsy and status epilepticus. Anti-seizure medications are the mainstay of treatment, and are typically chosen based upon the epilepsy syndrome, seizure type, side effect profile and EEG findings. If two or more anti-seizure medications fail to control seizures, early evaluation for surgical options, which could potentially be curative, should be pursued. This review article examines the pathophysiology of cerebral palsy and epilepsy, summarizes recent literature about risk factors for developing epilepsy, clinical and EEG features, treatment outcomes in children with epilepsy and CP, and discusses management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOBM Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Cerebral palsy
  • epilepsy
  • pediatrics


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