Occurrence of Developmental Disabilities and Other Neurologic Comorbidities in Children with Epilepsy

RTOI# 2008-01

January 3, 2008

Epidemiological studies that describe the occurrence of epilepsy in general populations of children are important for policy makers and health care providers to identify risk factors and populations at higher risk, and to plan and provide primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention programs. The principal objective of this study is to broaden knowledge of the epidemiology of epilepsy and associated neurological comorbidities in U.S. populations of children.

The awardee will conduct a study of the epidemiology of epilepsy among children in a defined community population (i.e., district, city, county, state, reservation, or other geopolitical unit) in the United States or its territories. Methods may be employed to ascertain all cases of epilepsy in the population or in sample(s) that are representative of the population.
Study power and sample size should be determined to ensure narrow confidence intervals around critical estimates to be obtained by the study, taking account of the degree of stratification that may be required. The awardee may elect to study epilepsy occurrence in children of all ages (e.g., 0-19 years of age) or in more restricted age groups (e.g. very young children, school-age children, or adolescents)

Study Focus
The proposed research should address epilepsy occurrence (either incidence or prevalence) and its association with neurological comorbidities, including developmental disabilities. In addition, the proposed research should address one or more of the following areas of specific interest: (a) epilepsy types; (b) epilepsy etiologies; (c) potential longer term outcomes of epilepsy such as disability, mortality, and other consequences of concern to public health; (d) access to and quality of care provided for children with epilepsy; (e) quality of life; or (f) comparisons among major demographic categories, e.g., sex, age, birthweight or gestational age, socioeconomic strata, or racial or ethnic minorities.

Evaluation Criteria
The applicant should:

  • Describe an interdisciplinary team to conduct the research, including collaborators with relevant epidemiological and clinical expertise.
  • Address proposed methods of case ascertainment that ensure complete case finding or case finding that is representative of the population (including multiple reporting sources if necessary);
  • Address proposed case definition, sample size, types and manner of data collection, and data analysis; and
  • Provide project objectives that are feasible, specific, measurable, and time-framed for a three-year project period.

Total Years of Project Length
Three (3) years.

Total Number of Project to be Funded
One (1)

Anticipated Levels of Funding
Total funding (direct and indirect) availability by project year at $350,000 per year.