Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome

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Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome
SynonymsAcute non-herpetic encephalitis with severe refractory status epilepticus, Fever-induced refractory epileptic encephalopathy in school-aged children

Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES) is a form of epilepsy that affects children three to fifteen years old. A healthy child that may have been ill in the last few days or with a lingering fever goes into a state of continuous seizures. The seizures are resistant to seizure medications and treatments, though barbiturates may be administered.[1] Medical diagnostic tests may initially return no clear diagnosis and may not detect any obvious swelling on the brain. The syndrome is very rare: it may only affect 1 in 1,000,000 children.[2]

Signs and symptoms[edit]

FIRES seizures are non-focal - there is no specified starting or stopping point - making brain surgery impossible. These seizures damage cognitive abilities of the brain such as memory or sensory abilities. This can result in learning disabilities,[1] behavioral disorders, memory issues, sensory changes, inability to move, and death. Children continue to have seizures throughout their lives.


The cause of FIRES is not known.[3] It does not happen twice in the same family, but the medical community does not know if it is genetic. It happens in boys more than girls. After the initial status, life expectancy is not affected directly. Issues such as overdose of medications or infections at a food tube site are examples of things that would be secondary to the status.




FIRES was named in 2008 by Dr. Andreas van Baalen and colleagues.[6] Previous names include AERRPS, DESC (Devastating Epileptic encephalopathy in School-aged Children),[7] and NORSE (New-Onset Refractory Status Epilepticus).[7]


  1. ^ a b Kramer, U; Chi, CS; Lin, KL; Specchio, N; Sahin, M; Olson, H; Nabbout, R; Kluger, G; Lin, JJ; van Baalen, A (November 2011). "Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES): pathogenesis, treatment, and outcome: a multicenter study on 77 children". Epilepsia. 52 (11): 1956–65. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03250.x. PMID 21883180.
  2. ^ van Baalen, A; Häusler, M; Plecko-Startinig, B; Strautmanis, J; Vlaho, S; Gebhardt, B; Rohr, A; Abicht, A; Kluger, G; Stephani, U; Probst, C; Vincent, A; Bien, CG (August 2012). "Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome without detectable autoantibodies and response to immunotherapy: a case series and discussion of epileptogenesis in FIRES". Neuropediatrics. 43 (4): 209–16. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1323848. PMID 22911482.
  3. ^ "FEBRILE INFECTION RELATED EPILEPSY". www.epilepsydiagnosis.org. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  4. ^ Gall, C.R.E., Jumma, O. & Mohanraj, R. 2013, "Five cases of new onset refractory status epilepticus (NORSE) syndrome: Outcomes with early immunotherapy", Seizure, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 217-220
  5. ^ Pranzatelli, M.R. & Nadi, N.S. 1995, "Mechanism of action of antiepileptic and antimyoclonic drugs.", Advances in Neurology, vol. 67, pp. 329-360.
  6. ^ van Baalen, A; Häusler, M; Boor, R; Rohr, A; Sperner, J; Kurlemann, G; Panzer, A; Stephani, U; Kluger, G (July 2010). "Febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES): a nonencephalitic encephalopathy in childhood". Epilepsia. 51 (7): 1323–8. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2010.02535.x. PMID 20345937.
  7. ^ a b Simon Shorvon and Monica Ferlisi (2011-09-13). "The treatment of super-refractory status epilepticus: a critical review of available therapies and a clinical treatment protocol". Brain. Brain.oxfordjournals.org. 134 (Pt 10): 2802–2818. doi:10.1093/brain/awr215. PMID 21914716. Retrieved 2014-04-04.

External links[edit]

External resources