John BP Stephenson Ma Bm Dm Frcp HonFrcpch Sameer Zuberi MB ChB Mrcpch Frcp

ost children seen by pediatricians or child neurologists in a first seizure or paroxysmal disorders clinic will not have epilepsy. The principal reason why many of these children are wrongly diagnosed as having epilepsy is a lack of time and effort spent on the difficult, lonely art of history taking. Physicians must have an equally expert knowledge of the imitators of epilepsy as they have of the myriad clinical expressions of epileptic seizures. The paramount importance of history taking is confirmed by the observation that misdiagnosis of epilepsy remains high throughout the world, irrespective of the wealth and resources available to the healthcare system. This justifies the importance of this chapter and of this book.

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