Literature Monitor

Understanding and Managing Sunflower Syndrome

Epilepsy Res; 2018 May; Baumer et al.


Sunflower syndrome, a type of reflex seizure usually accompanied by eyelid myoclonia, can be managed with valproate or polypharmacy suggests a recent study of affected patients managed by the Department of Neurology, Division of Child Neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine.

  • Sunflower syndrome, a photosensitive epilepsy, is triggered when patients wave their hands in front of the sun.
  • A review of 13 cases, occurring mostly in girls with an average age of onset of 5.5 years, found that many of these patients had intellectual, attentional, or academic problems.
  • Most patients had eyelid myoclonia, with or without absence seizures, while six also had spontaneous seizures.
  • Nine children received valproate, of which 66% experienced significant improvement or stopped having seizures.
  • No patients taking levetiracetam or lamotrigine monotherapy saw their seizures resolve, but 3 patients did improve on polypharmacy.

Baumer FM, Porter BE. Clinical and electrographic features of sunflower syndrome. Epilepsy Res. 2018;142:58-63.

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