Severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy: evolution of electroencephalographic and clinical features.

P. J. Wang, P. C. Fan, W. T. Lee, C. Young, C. C. Huang, Y. Z. Shen

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Since 1987, we have diagnosed 10 patients, 4 males and 6 females, aged 2-11 years at the last evaluation, who all met the following criteria of severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy (SMEI): generalized or unilateral long-lasting febrile clonic seizures in the first year of life; the subsequent appearance of myoclonic seizures and other types of seizure (partial seizures, atypical absences and convulsive status epilepticus); and neuropsychological deterioration for a certain period. Family histories of epilepsy and febrile seizures could be traced in 1 and 3 cases, respectively. None of them had previous personal history of brain insult. Electroencephalographic (EEGic) recordings in febrile seizure stage were normal; and continuous prophylaxis with phenobarbital failed to prevent the recurrence of febrile seizures. EEG studies in myoclonic stage showed generalized spike-and-waves, polyspike-and-waves, focal abnormalities and/or photosensitivity. The seizures were highly resistant to antiepileptic drugs. Our experiences suggested that comedication of valproic acid, clonazepam and carbamazepine may be most effective in treatment of the diverse seizures including myoclonic seizures, myoclonic-tonic-clonic seizures, atypical absences and partial seizures. Myoclonic seizures and atypical absences diminished in parallel to a clear-cut decrease in generalized abnormalities on EEG in 4 cases aged more than 7 years. However, the partial seizures, secondarily generalized seizures and status epilepticus were still present. Further investigations should aim to identify the underlying etiology and to search more effective treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-432
Number of pages5
JournalActa Paediatrica Sinica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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