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CHILDHOOD ABSENCE EPILEPSY

Mandatory seizures

Absence seizures in childhood absence epilepsy are typically frequent (multiple daily) and brief (average 10 seconds). Awareness and responsiveness are usually severely impaired, but the child may be more responsive towards the end of the seizure.

CAUTION Absence seizures longer than 45 seconds or with a post-ictal phase should not occur right arrow consider focal impaired awareness seizures e.g. due to structural brain abnormality.

CAUTION The presence of awareness during absence seizures right arrow childhood absence epilepsy is unlikely, other syndromes with absences should be considered.

CAUTION If onset or offset of absences is not abrupt or absences occur less than daily, other syndromes with absences should be considered.

May have

Generalized tonic-clonic seizures - seen occasionally, usually in adolescence, not in the early period after seizure onset.

CAUTION Generalized tonic-clonic seizures before adolescence right arrow consider other epilepsy syndromes.

Exclusionary

Any other seizure type is not expected in this syndrome.

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