The prevalence of epilepsy and types of seizures and epileptic syndromes in children in the district of the Tampere University Hospital (population 175,000) and 34 surrounding rural counties was determined by a retrospective review of medical records and EEG recordings, using the latest ILAE International Classifications. Prevalence of epilepsy in 1992 was 3.94 per 1000, and 96% of seizures and 90% of epileptic syndromes could be classified. Generalized seizures and syndromes were more prevalent in young children 0-6 years of age, and partial/localization-related seizures in older children 6-15 years. Intractable epilepsies in 17% of all cases correlated with symptomatic etiology and early onset of seizures. Lennox-Gastaut accounted for 2% of epilepsies, and 10% were unclassified. [1]

COMMENT. Intractable seizures account for 17% of all epilepsies in a defined population of children in Finland. The prevalence of childhood epilepsy in the Finland population (3.94/1000) is much lower than that in Atlanta (6/1000) and Rochester, MN, USA (9.8/1000).