Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy

Juvenile myoclonus epilepsy, Adolescent myoclonic epilepsy, Janz syndrome, Petit mal, impulsive


Type of disease: Rare conditions

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is an epilepsy syndrome characterized by myoclonic jerks (quick jerks of the arms or legs), generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCSs), and sometimes, absence seizures.  The seizures of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy often occur when people first awaken in the morning, especially if they are sleep-deprived. Drinking alcohol and psychological stress may also make these seizures more likely.  Onset typically occurs around adolesence in otherwise healthy children.  The exact cause of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy remains unknown.  Although patients usually require lifelong treatment with anticonvulsants, their overall prognosis is generally good.

Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.

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