The Syndromes of Generalized Epilepsy

  • F. E. Dreifuss


According to the classification of epileptic syndromes as proposed by the International League Against Epilepsy Commission on Classification and Terminology (Commission on Classification and Terminology, 1985), an epileptic syndrome is defined as an epileptic disorder characterized by a cluster of signs and symptoms customarily occurring together. Though an epileptic seizure is the symptom that brings the patient to the physician, a syndrome is a condition of which the seizure is just one manifestation. Syndromes are characterized by seizure type, family history, the presence or absence of abnormal neurological findings, a specific age of onset, a natural history with a predictable outcome, and the patients’ response to medication. Two dichotomies are widely used to determine the major classes of the epilepsies. The first dichotomy separates epilepsy with generalized seizures from epilepsies with partial or focal seizures. The second separates epilepsies of known etiology (symptomatic or secondary epilepsies) from those that are idiopathic (primary) or cryptogenic.


Absence Seizure Infantile Spasm Generalize Epilepsy Myoclonic Epilepsy Myoclonic Jerk 
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© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1990

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  • F. E. Dreifuss

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