Absence Seizures, 2nd Edition
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Note: In 2017, the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) revised the naming of seizures to make them more understandable. Terms like “petit mal” and “pyknolepsy” be avoided
Short Description or Definition
An absence seizure consists of staring as the behavioral change which accompanies abnormal generalized electrical activity in the brain. The electrical brain activity seen in “typical” absence seizures is generalized 3-Hz spike and wave discharges. Absence seizures are brief (usually less than 15 s) and do not usually result in falling, loss of muscle tone, or jerking of the arms and legs.
Absence seizures are categorized as primarily generalized seizures. Childhood absence epilepsy has an onset between 3 and 8 years of age, and juvenile absence epilepsy has onset after 10 years.
Childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) has an incidence of 6.3−8/100,000 in children less than 15 years of age, and the majority are girls.
CAE represents about 10% of...