Characteristics of Dravet Syndrome

Dravet Syndrome is a clinical diagnosis, based on recognition of seizure types, the clinical course of the condition (e.g. developmental delays, comorbidities), and electroencephalographic (EEG) features.

Recent research suggests that the earlier Dravet Syndrome is diagnosed, the better the longer outcomes. It is also important to recognise that no matter the age of the patient (from infancy to late adulthood), diagnosis and the right treatment plan can change their life. It can mean less seizures, improved quality of life for them and their family, better management of comorbidities and improved intellectual outcomes. 

Typical characteristics of Dravet Syndrome include:

Age of the first seizure

Initial types of seizure include:

Normal development during first year of life

EEG usually normal in first 1–2 years 

In the second year myoclonic and atypical absences may appear

After 2–5 years, episodes of status settle

Seizure frequency high in the first decade of someone’s life

Long-term development

Adults with intellectual disability and epilepsy

The above information is a brief summary of the key characteristics of Dravet Syndrome. For more detail on the typical presentation of seizures, developmental delay/intellectual disability and other comorbidities, click on the links below. 

Essential reading:

In 2022, the ILAE updated the classification and definition of Dravet Syndrome. This is included in: