Juvenile Absence Epilepsy

What Is Juvenile Absence Epilepsy (JAE)?

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.

Juvenile Absence Epilepsy Symptoms

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.

Juvenile Absence Epilepsy Diagnosis

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

Normal EEG Awake compared to Absence Seizures.

Juvenile Absence Epilepsy 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.

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