Distance Learning in Paediatric Neurology

Unit 6: Epilepsy & Paroxysmal Disorders

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Membranes, channels, epilepsy and paroxysmal disorders The largest group of conditions studied will be epileptic seizure disorders/the epilepsies. The overall aim is to provide you with an understanding of the physiological basis of seizure disorders and their epidemiology, along with the detailed clinical knowledge necessary to manage children with seizure disorders to an advanced level. By the end of the Unit you should be:

  • adept at using the International Diagnostic Scheme
  • be able to describe the electroclinical features of the different types of epileptic seizures
  • be able to identify common and not so common epilepsy syndromes
  • have a good knowledge of the various diseases and condition in which epileptic seizures may occur

You will consider the role of EEG, neuroimaging and other investigations in the evaluation of children with seizure disorders. A number of sections deal with treatment issues, including antiepileptic drugs, epilepsy surgery and less conventional / well established treatment modalities, such as vagal nerve stimulation. The effect of epilepsy on the individual, including co-morbidities will also be considered. Epileptic seizure disorders are often confused with non-epileptic paroxysmal disorders: you will review the differential diagnosis of paroxysmal disorders including the Headache Disorders of Childhood.


This Unit contains 100 hours of study, divided into the following sections:

  Number of study hours
1. The neurobiology of the epilepsies 6 hours
2. Epidemiology and social aspects of the epilepsies 6 hours
3. The Electroencephalogram 8 hours
4. Neuroimaging and ancillary investigations 6 hours
5. Introduction to the classification of children with seizure disorder 8 hours
6. The clinical evaluation of epileptic seizures 8 hours
7. Seizures and seizure disorders encountered in neonates and infants 6 hours
8. Epilepsies in childhood and adolescence 8 hours
9. Epileptic encephalopathies of infancy, childhood and adolescence 6 hours
10. Epilepsy associated with specific diseases and the progressive myoclonus epilepsies 6 hours
11. Status epilepticus (convulsive and non-convulsive) 6 hours
12. Treatment of the epilepsies: Drug treatment 6 hours
13. Treatment of the epilepsies: Non-drug and non-cerebral surgical treatments 6 hours
14. Treatment of the epilepsies: drug treatment: Surgery 6 hours
15. Non-epileptic paroxysmal disorders 8 hours
Total study hours = 100 hours


You can work through it at your own pace and there are no time limits to finish the Unit. If you spend about 4 hours per week on this course, you will complete it in about 6 months. When you complete the unit, please send it to us and we will check that all 3 star activities have been completed and will issue a CPD certificate for the number of hours shown above.

Who is this Unit for?

The Epilepsy Unit is particularly suitable for:

  • Specialist Paediatric trainees
  • Specialist Paediatric Neurology trainees
  • Consultant Paediatricians
  • Consultant Paediatric Neurologists to update themselves as part of their continuing professional development
  • Those who have attended the BPNA PET courses and would like to learn more.


The course is delivered via a dedicated website. On receipt of your application we will register you and send your username and password to access your unit. All the activities and required papers are available for you to download from the course website. You will also need access to the textbook 'A Clinical Guide to Epileptic Syndromes and their Treatment', CP Panayiotopoulos. Springer. This is available as an ebook from Springer currently priced at £43.99. You will also need to see a child who has had a suspected epileptic seizure or seizures and refer to the case notes of a child with an epileptic encephalopathy.

What do students say are the best things about this unit?

  • “Epileptic Encephalopathies of Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence” (Georgia)
  • “The details of the physiology of epilepsy, migraine” (UK)
  • “The first few sections on epilepsy were the best” (UK)
  • “Videos were outstanding, very clear and to the point, one picture worth a thousand words” (Saudi Arabia)
  • “That the information was not 'spoon fed' but there was an element of 'discovery', which promoted active learning” (UK)
  • “Epileptic encephalopathies” (UK)
  • “It was perfect to study this at the same time as working at the epilepsy hospital. The theory and clinics at a high level was excellent. (Denmark)


Fees must be paid at the time of registering. You can register online and pay your fee by credit/debit card or request an invoice be sent to your place of work (you will need a purchase order number from your hospital for this option). The cost of this Unit depends on the country in which you are working.  

  • High income countries = £436 (eg Western Europe, Australia, North America, Gulf States)
  • Low & middle income countries = £144

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