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Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Symptoms

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), also known as Janz’s syndrome, is a hereditary form of epilepsy that begins at puberty. The primary type of seizures are myoclonic, especially on awakening. They may occur in clusters, or several times a day for several days in a row. JME is also associated with generalized tonic-clonic and absence seizures. They may be brought on by lack of sleep, early awakening, alcohol and drug use, stress, strong emotion, and menstruation. Seizures can also be brought on by photic stimulation such as flickering lights, TV, video games, or light shining through trees or reflecting off water or snow.

Diagnosis

JME is one of the most common types of epilepsy, accounting for 70 percent of all cases. The EEG shows interictal fast (4-6 Hz) spike and wave and polyspike and wave discharges.

 

EEG of a myoclonic seizure

 

Treatment

JME is usually well controlled with medication such as Depakene® (valproate), Lamictal® (lamotrigine), and Keppra® (levetiracetam). Most patients with JME 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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