Researchers have highlighted the potential usefulness of a new tool for predicting intellectual and academic outcomes in childhood epilepsy.The new study from Brown University and the Kennedy Krieger Institute in the US has assessed the Epilepsy Cumulative Risk Scale, developed to quantify cumulative risk for poor outcomes in childhood epilepsy, among 156 patients.Collating a number of variables previously associated with functional outcomes, the scores outputted by the tool were shown to be most strongly correlated with poor cognition and academic skills.According to results published in the Journal of Child Neurology, a total score of five or more had the best sensitivity and specificity for differentiating those at high risk for poor outcomes.The researchers concluded: “The Epilepsy Cumulative Risk Scale shows promise as a practical, data-driven tool for quantification of cumulative risk for poor outcomes in childhood epilepsy and may be helpful in detecting those needing referral for additional services.”This is a useful study as discrete risk factors for poor outcomes in childhood epilepsy are well-established, but it was previously unclear whether the combined effect of several risk factors would predict outcome better.Posted by Anne BrownClick here for more articles about epilepsy in children.