Paroxysmal Nonepileptic Events in Children With Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy

Monica S. Cooper, Michael C. Fahey, Charuta Dagia, Dinah Reddihough, Susan M. Reid, Mark T. Mackay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To determine the frequency of paroxysmal nonepileptic events in children with cerebral palsy due to brain injury who have epilepsy and to describe the factors associated with paroxysmal nonepileptic events. Methods: Retrospective, population-based study of children from the Victorian CP Register born 1999–2006. Neuroimaging, medical records, electroencephalograms (EEG), and EEG requests were analyzed. Results: Of the included 256 children, 87 had epilepsy. EEGs (with video correlation) were available for 82 of 87. Eighteen (18/82, 22%) had epileptic events captured on EEG. Twenty-one (21/82, 26%) had paroxysmal nonepileptic events captured on EEG. The majority (13/18, 77%) of children with epileptic events also had paroxysmal nonepileptic events captured. Ten parents and carers continued to report events as epileptic despite there being no ictal EEG correlate for specific events on multiple EEGs. There were no clear associations to identify which children would have ongoing paroxysmal nonepileptic events reported. Conclusions: Paroxysmal nonepileptic events were captured on EEG in one-fourth of children from this cerebral palsy cohort with epilepsy and available EEG. Half the parents and carers reported previously identified paroxysmal nonepileptic events as epileptic on subsequent EEGs, highlighting the need for clearer counseling so that parents better understand seizure semiology in children with EEG-proven paroxysmal nonepileptic events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-346
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • cerebral palsy
  • epilepsy
  • seizures

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