Complex partial seizures of childhood onset: a clinical and encephalographic study1

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Electroclinical manifestations of 30 patients with complex partial seizures (CPS) of childhood onset (<16 yr) were evaluated. Only patients with both clinical CPS and focal specific epileptiform activity shown on the electroencephalogram were selected. Febrile convulsions were present in 9 patients, suggesting that they play a significant role in the pathogenesis of CPS. All patients had a period of unresponsiveness with a blank stare and amnesia; 21 had an aura, including affective symptoms in 20. Hallucinations (5) and illusions (1) were infrequent. Only 16 had epileptiform discharges in their initial waking record, whereas in 8 others, epileptiform discharges were activated during sleep. Foci were predominantly unilateral (28) and mostly temporal (26); only 2 were bi-temporal, in contrast to the reported incidence of 31%–42% in adults, suggesting that the natural evolution of unilateral foci is to become bilateral.



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