University department of Neuropediatrics, Children's hospital, Schwanenweg 20, D-24105 Kiel, Germany.
The ILAE (1989) has defined benign childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (BCECTS) as follows: BCECTS is a syndrome of brief, simple, partial, hemifacial motor seizures, frequently having associated somatosensory symptoms which have a tendency to evolve into generalised tonic clonic seizures (GTCS) . Both seizure types are often related to sleep. Onset occurs between the ages of 3 and 13 years (peak 9-10 years) and recovery occurs before the age of 15-16 years. Genetic predisposition is frequent, and there is a male predominance. The EEG has blunt high-voltage centrotemporal spikes, often followed by slow waves that are activated by sleep and tend to shift or spread from side to side.