Febrile convulsions: a new look at an old problem1

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Febrile convulsions commonly occur in children and may recur in approximately 25% to 50% of patients, but intelligence and learning do not appear to be influenced even after frequent recurrences. The risk of future epilepsy is low in most patients; however, a small group of high-risk children can be identified by prior abnormal neurologic status, atypical seizures, or a family history which reveals a close relative with epilepsy. Chronic phénobarbital prophylaxis can protect patients against recurrent febrile convulsions, but the effects of such treatment on the later development of epilepsy are not known. Most children with febrile convulsions need not be treated with anticonvulsants.



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