Generalized epilepsy is a form of epilepsy characterised by generalised seizures with no apparent cause. Generalized seizures, as opposed to focal seizures, are a type of seizure that impairs consciousness and distorts the electrical activity of the whole or a larger portion of the brain (which can be seen, for example, on electroencephalography, EEG).
|Other names||Primary generalized epilepsy, idiopathic epilepsy|
|Generalized 3 Hz spike-and-wave discharges on an electroencephalogram|
Generalized seizures occur in various seizure syndromes, including myoclonic epilepsy, familial neonatal convulsions, childhood absence epilepsy, absence epilepsy, infantile spasms (West's syndrome), Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Most generalized epilepsy starts during childhood. While some patients outgrow their epilepsy during adolescence and no longer need medication, in others, the condition remains for life, thereby requiring lifelong medication and monitoring.
Seven anti-epileptic drugs are approved for use in cases of suspected primary generalized epilepsy:
- Brand Name: Felbatol Generic Name: Felbamate
Valproate, a relatively old drug, is often considered the first-line treatment. It is highly effective, but its association with fetal malformations when taken in pregnancy limits its use in young women.
All anti-epileptic drugs (including the above) can be used in cases of partial seizures.
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- "Primary Generalized Epilepsy". Nervous-system-diseases.com. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
- "Seizures or epilepsy". Pediatricservices.com. 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
- Personal Use
- Vajda, FJ; O'brien, TJ; Hitchcock, A; Graham, J; Cook, M; Lander, C; Eadie, MJ (November 2004). "Critical relationship between sodium valproate dose and human teratogenicity: results of the Australian register of anti-epileptic drugs in pregnancy". Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 11 (8): 854–8. doi:10.1016/j.jocn.2004.05.003. PMID 15519862.