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A condition in which epileptiform abnormalities are believed to contribute to the progressive disturbance in cerebral function. Epileptic encephalaopathy is characterized by (1) electrographic EEG paroxysmal activity that is often aggressive, (2) seizures that are usually multiform and intractable, (3) cognitive, behavioral and neurological deficits that may be relentless, and (4) sometimes early death. [ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23213494 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21590624 ]

Synonyms: Convulsive encephalopathy

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  • UMLS:C0543888

Seizures alone without any underlying neurologic or medical illness can be the sole cause of encephalopathy. Patients with seizures as a cause or consequence of encephalopathy present with a wide variety of neurologic symptoms from mild reduction or alteration of consciousness to coma. Findings on neurologic exam are often nonfocal, nonspecific, and not predictive of the presence of seizures. Patients may or may not have subtle motor findings accompanying the presentation of encephalopathy. Signs range from very focal findings, such as nystagmus, eye flutter, blinking, and eye deviation to more widespread signs, such as myoclonus, tremulousness, and autonomic instability.

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