The Effect of Early-Life Seizures on Cognitive and Motor Development: A Case Series

Sandra Jensen-Willett, Andrea Cunha, Michele A. Lobo, Regina Harbourne, Stacey C. Dusing, Sarah W. McCoy, Natalie A. Koziol, Lin Ya Hsu, Emily C. Marcinowski, Iryna Babik, Mihee An, James A. Bovaird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This case series documents developmental changes over time and in response to a novel intervention, Sitting Together and Reaching to Play (START-Play), in children with early-life seizures. Methods: Thirteen children with early-life seizures were included from a subset of participants in the START-Play multisite, randomized controlled trial. Seven received 3 months of twice weekly START-Play intervention; 6 continued with usual care early intervention. Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III (Cognitive Composite), Gross Motor Function Measure-66 Item Set, Assessment of Problem-Solving in Play, and reaching assessments were administered at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months postbaseline. Change scores are reported at 3 and 12 months postbaseline. Results: Over time, plateau or decline was noted in standardized cognition measures; motor development improved or was stable. Children receiving START-Play showed positive trends in problem-solving (71.4%) and reaching behaviors (57.2%). Conclusions: Interventions such as START-Play that combine motor and cognitive constructs may benefit children with early-life seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-431
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • development
  • early intervention
  • seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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