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Developmental arrest and regression as a consequence of epilepsy are common in
malignant syndromes of epilepsy .
Infantile spasms: usually begins between the ages of 4 and 8 mo and are characterized by brief symmetric contractions of the neck , trunk , and extremities. A grossly disorganised epileptic electroencephalogram ( hypsarrthmia ) is characteristic but not always seen .Infantile spasms are typically classified into two groups :cryptogenic (10-20% ) and symptomatic.Infants with cryptogenic spasms have an uneventful pregnancy and birth history as well as normal developmental milestones and the prognosis is good .Infants with symptomatic spasms have an 80 -90 % risk of mental retardation .
Severe myoclonic epilepsy of childhood: begins at 4 - 10 months , often with a prolonged partial clonic seizure. Later attacks include multiple seizure types and apnoeic attacks. With the onset of multiple types of seizure, developmental regression , often severe, occurs .
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome: multiple seizures occur in the first 8 years of life. 50% of the children affected have primary developmental delay, and 100% have learning problems after 5 or more years of the condition .
Landau - Kleffner syndrome: partial or generalized seizures begin and language comprehension and speech are lost after two or more years of normal development .