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Juvenile Absence Epilepsy

Symptoms

Juvenile absence epilepsy (JAE) is a common type of epilepsy that typically begins on or after puberty, between the ages of 10 and 17. About one-third of patients with JAE have a family history of seizures. Children may experience a few absence seizures per day, which are characterized by a brief altered state of conscious and staring episodes. The child may also experience tonic-clonic seizures upon awakening.

Diagnosis

EEG testing shows a 3 Hz generalized spike and waves. CT and MRI scans of the brain are typically normal.

 

EEG of an absence seizure

 

Treatment

Seizures are controlled with medication in 80 percent of cases. Zarontin® (ethosuximide), Depakene® (valproate) and Lamictal® (lamotrigine) are typically prescribed for JAE. Some patients with JAE do not outgrow their seizures and will need take medication for the rest of their lives. Individuals are encouraged to get enough sleep and avoid alcohol to reduce the likelihood of seizures.

Drug information changes periodically. For the most updated information on drugs, visit www.drugs.com.

Last Update
July 2, 2012
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Last Update
July 2, 2012
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