Epilepsy is the most common childhood brain disorder in the United States, impacting 470,000 children and adolescents aged 0-17 years.
The AAP has served as the National Coordinating Center for Epilepsy under the Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal Child Health Bureau since 2013. The Center aims to improve access to coordinated, comprehensive, and quality care for children and youth with epilepsy, particularly those residing in medically underserved and/or rural areas, across the life-course.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder where a person has recurring seizures. Seizures are sudden events that cause temporary changes in physical movement, sensation, behavior, or consciousness. They are caused by abnormal electrical and chemical changes in the brain.
There are many different types of seizures. Some are very short, lasting only a few seconds, while others can last a few minutes. The type of seizure a person has depends on where the seizure occurs in the brain and how much of the brain is involved.
A doctor would likely diagnose a child with epilepsy if the following were true:
- The child has had one or more unprovoked seizures.
- The doctor thinks the child is likely to have a seizure again.
- The child's seizures are not directly caused by another medical condition, like diabetes, a severe infection, or an acute brain injury.
About the National Coordinating Center for Epilepsy
The mission of the Center is to support professionals working to improve access to coordinated, comprehensive and quality care for children and youth with epilepsy (CYE), particularly in medically underserved and/or rural areas, across the life-course.
The AAP provides recommendations and guidelines to support pediatricians and other health care professional working with epilepsy patients and families.
Professional Tools & Resources
Epilepsy is the most common neurologic condition among pediatric patients in the United States. The following resources are designed to help you provide high quality care to children and youth with epilepsy.
American Academy of Pediatrics