Childhood occipital epilepsy (Gastaut-type) is a self-limiting childhood epilepsy with onset in later childhood. Seizures are usually easily controlled and remission of seizures occurs within 2-4 years from onset.
NOTE Self-limiting refers to there being a high likelihood of seizures spontaneously remitting at a predictable age.
This syndrome is characterized by onset of seizures between 15 months and 19 years of age (peak 8-9 years). Remission occurs in 50-60% of patients within 2-4 years after onset. A dramatic response to carbamazepine is seen in more than 90% of patients. Both sexes are equally affected. Antecedent and birth history is normal. Head size and neurological examination are usually normal. Development and cognition is normal, although mild cognitive impairment has been described.
CAUTION Epileptic encephalopathy with continuous spike-and-wave during sleep can occur as a co-morbid disorder consider a sleep EEG in cases that develop cognitive deterioration.