Atypical absence seizures

Overview

Type of disease: Genetic, autosomal recessive | Genetic, autosomal dominant | Genetic, X-linked | Pediatric onset | Infectious disease | Acquired | Rare conditions

Atypical absence seizures are seizures in which a person loses awareness for 10-20 seconds. This also occurs in absence seizures. The difference, however, between the two seizures is that in an atypical absence seizures people are still somewhat responsive. Additionally, movement such as eye twitching or jerking may occur. Atypical absence seizures also have a gradual beginning and ending, meaning the start and end of an atypical seizure is not as obvious as an absence seizure. Atypical absence seizures usually affect children between the ages of 4 and 14. After an atypical absence seizure a person will have no memory of it and will continue with his/her activity. Since these seizures occur so quickly, it is difficult to notice if a person is having one or not. They can often be confused with daydreaming or inattentiveness, and may occur only once or throughout the day.

Although the exact cause is unknown, atypical absence seizures may be associated with intellectual (cognitive)and development delays. All seizures types are a result of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. To diagnose the condition, doctors will run a test called electroencephalogram (EEG). This test checks the brain for unusual electrical activity. Children who experience atypical absence seizures may have abnormal EEG results even when they are not having an atypical absence seizure. There are medications available to treat atypical absence seizures. Talk with your child’s doctor or specialist about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also good resources for support and information.

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