What are epilepsy syndromes?

Updated: Oct 01, 2020
  • Author: Raj D Sheth, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Epilepsy syndromes include symptomatic, cryogenic, and idiopathic epilepsy. Symptomatic epilepsy is defined as seizures resulting from an identifiable cerebral disorder. Cryptogenic epilepsy consists of seizures that occur without an identifiable cause in a patient with cognitive impairment or with neurologic deficits (eg, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), infantile spasms [see the first image below], and myoclonic astatic epilepsy of Doose.)

Idiopathic epilepsy consists of seizures that occur without an identifiable cause in a patient with entirely normal findings on neurologic examination and of normal intelligence (eg, benign partial epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes [BECTS], benign partial epilepsy of childhood with occipital paroxysms [BPEOP], juvenile myoclonic epilepsy [see the second image below]), and other idiopathic epilepsies (see the third and fourth image below.

Electroencephalogram demonstrating hypsarrhythmia Electroencephalogram demonstrating hypsarrhythmia in infantile spasms. Note the chaotic high-amplitude background.
Electroencephalogram demonstrating polyspike and w Electroencephalogram demonstrating polyspike and wave discharges seen in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.
Electroencephalogram demonstrating polyspike and w Electroencephalogram demonstrating polyspike and wave discharges, which can be seen in idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

 

Electroencephalogram demonstrating a run of genera Electroencephalogram demonstrating a run of generalized polyspikes, which are more left predominant and can be seen in idiopathic generalized epilepsies.

EEG characteristics of these specific electroclinical epilepsy syndromes are discussed in this article. 

For more information, see the following:


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