Seizure in Children

Absence seizures are one of several kinds of seizures. These seizures are sometimes referred to as petit mal seizures.

Absence seizures are brief, generalized epileptic seizures of sudden onset and termination. When someone experiences an absence seizure they are often unaware of their episode. Those most susceptible to this are children and the first episode usually occurs between 4–12 years old. It is very rare that someone older will experience their first absence seizure. Episodes of absence seizures can often be mistaken for inattentiveness when misdiagnosed and can occur 50-100 times a day. They can be so difficult to detect that some people may go months or years before given a proper diagnosis. There are no known before or after effects of absence seizures. They have two essential components: clinically, the impairment of consciousness (absence) Electroencephalography (EEG) shows generalized spike-and-slow wave discharges.

Absence seizures are broadly divided into typical and atypical types. Typical absence seizures usually occur in the context of idiopathic generalized epilepsies and EEG shows fast >2.5 Hz generalized spike-wave discharges. The prefix “typical” is to differentiate them from atypical absences rather than to characterize them as "classical" or characteristic of any particular syndrome.

Atypical absence seizures:
occur only in the context of mainly severe symptomatic or cryptogenic epilepsies of children with learning difficulties who also suffer from frequent seizures of other types, such as atonic, tonic and myoclonic. onset and termination is not so abrupt and changes in tone are more pronounced. ictal EEG is of slow (less than 2.5 Hz) spike and slow wave. The discharge is heterogeneous, often asymmetrical and may include irregular spike and slow wave complexes, fast and other paroxysmal activity. Background interictal EEG is usually abnormal.