Of approximately 14,000 children enrolled in a British Child Health and Education Study, 398 identified with febrile convulsions (FC) were assessed at age 10 years at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and the University of Bristol, UK. Measures of academic progress, intelligence, and behavior in the FC patients were not significantly different from controls without FC. Patients with simple FC (287) and complex FC (94) showed similar results. The outcomes in those with recurrent FC and those with a single seizure were similar. Children with FCs in the first year of life required special schooling more often than those with late-onset FCs (7.5% cf 1.5%). [1]

COMMENT. Febrile convulsions do not impair academic progress, intellect, and behavior in patients followed and tested at 10 years of age. Children with complex febrile seizures have the same cognitive and behavioral outcome as those with simple febrile seizures. These UK results are similar to those of the prospective US National Collaborative Perinatal Project that found similar IQ levels in FC and seizure-free siblings at 7 year follow-up. They differ from studies showing associations between FCs and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and learning disabilities.