John Libbey Eurotext

Benign pediatric localization-related epilepsies Volume 8, issue 3, September 2006


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There is currently increasing interest in identifying and classifying pediatric benign epilepsy syndromes and recently several new syndromes have been recognized. Benign epilepsy syndromes, by definition, occur in children with normal developmental history, respond well to therapy, and remit without sequelae. The large majority of children with benign epilepsy syndromes follow a truly benign course. The concept of benign epilepsy syndromes has, however, been challenged by the minority of patients who continue to have seizures despite therapy, develop new seizures after initial remission, or exhibit neuropsychological abnormalities. Without long-term follow-up, benignity can not be truly ascertained a priori. Thus it may be preferable to use the terms possible and probable before the name of a specific syndrome until such time that the diagnosis of a definite benign syndrome is confirmed on long-term follow-up. In this review of the pediatric benign localization-related epilepsy syndromes, we address the concept of benignity and the process of diagnosis of a benign epilepsy syndrome. In addition we review the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, EEG findings, work-up, diagnostic criteria, differential diagnosis, genetics, management and prognosis of benign infantile familial convulsions, benign partial epilepsy in infancy with complex partial seizures, benign partial epilepsy in infancy with secondarily generalized seizures, benign infantile convulsions associated with mild gastroenteritis, and benign infantile focal epilepsy with midline spikes and waves during sleep.