Childhood Absence Epilepsy

  • Athanasios Covanis
Reference work entry

Historical Data of Absence Seizures

The first description of absence seizures was made by Poupart in 1705 (Tempkin 1971). Subsequently, Tissot (1770) referred to lapses between major attacks, followed by terms “absences” by Calmeil in 1824, “petit mal” by Esquirol in 1838 and “epilepsia mitior” by Reynolds 1861. In 1881 Gowers gave a more precise definition of absence seizures “without conspicuous convulsion,” Sauer in 1916 refers to them as pyknolepsy, and Brain in 1924 (Peterman 1945) stated the importance of hyperventilation as a test to induce absence seizures. Adie in 1924 associated pyknolepsy with childhood and good prognosis and Gibbs et al. in 1935 associated petit mal absences with 3 Hz SWDs in the EEG. Lennox in 1945 referred to the petit mal triad as absence, myoclonic, and akinetic seizures. The same year, tridione was used as the first antiabsence antiepileptic drug (AED). In recent years, the ILAE classification of absence seizures in 1981 and the syndrome...


Febrile Seizure Absence Seizure Absence Epilepsy Myoclonic Jerk Nucleus Reticularis Thalamus 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athanasios Covanis
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurology DepartmentThe Children’s Hospital ‘Aghia Sophia’AthensGreece

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