Epilepsy in intellectual disability

by Professor Shoumitro Deb and Dr Radha Srikanth


Last updated: January 2013


In the general population, the risk of an individual developing epilepsy in his or her lifetime is between 3% and 5%.


Approximately 14% 24% of patients who have intellectual disability have epilepsy.


Epilepsy in persons with intellectual disability means more than having epileptic seizures as it also involves the issues of:


  • quality of life


  • carer involvement and attitudes


  • managing medications with associated adverse reactions


  • risk management with an aim to establishing a better quality of life for the person and her/his family carers.


This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the relationship between epilepsy and intellectual disability as well as how to assess and manage epilepsy in patients with intellectual disability.


Start the module


Please note: This module was last updated in 2013. A revision is being worked on, but in the meantime please be aware when completing the module that some of the guidance may have changed.

If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Sensory impairment and intellectual disability by Dr Reza Kiani and Dr Helen Miller


Assessment of traumatic brain injury by Dr Simon Fleminger and Dr Arsime Demjaha


People with intellectual disabilities in criminal justice settings by Dr Fergus Douds, Dr Jana de Villiers and Jane Macer



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