18. Neonatal Seizures

  1. James W. Wheless
  1. Eric V. Hastriter

Published Online: 1 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch18

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

How to Cite

Hastriter, E. V. (2012) Neonatal Seizures, in Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents (ed J. W. Wheless), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch18

Editor Information

  1. Department of Pediatric Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and Neuroscience Institute, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

Author Information

  1. Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2012
  2. Published Print: 23 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470741238

Online ISBN: 9781119998600



  • neonatal seizures;
  • acute neonatal encephalopathies;
  • neonatal seizure outcomes;
  • neonatal seizure treatments;
  • chronic epilepsy after neonatal epilepsy


Neonatal seizures occur in the newborn period, and can appear in many different forms. The etiology of neonatal seizures is vast, and can include metabolic, structural, infectious, neurocutaneous, and genetic. The pathophysiology of neonatal seizures is interesting as there are maturational changes that occur at the receptor level that influence excitation and inhibition. Treatment depends on etiology, frequency, and duration of seizures. Phenobarbital and phenytoin are the anticonvulsants that have been studied in neonatal seizures, but evidence of their safety and efficacy is lacking. Chronic epilepsy may or may not follow neonatal seizures; cognitive development may be affected despite resolution of neonatal seizures, and neurological outcome may be devastating and require lifelong treatment.