- possibly the most common epilepsy syndrome in childhood;
- age range is 2-13 years of age, although most commonly between age 4 and 11; and
- Seizures that occur as part of BECTS:
- brief simple partial seizures with associated somatosensory symptoms that often spread, sometimes in the typical "Jacksonian march" or generalized into tonic-clinic seizures;
- occur mostly at night (50-81%), although in some may occur during sleep and awake states (5-40%) or only while awake (0-32%);
- occur infrequently;
- show unilateral somatosensory involvement, often of the tongue;
- interrupt speech;
- may lead to pooling of saliva and gurgling noises (ask specifically about these symptoms); and
- do not cause confusion or amnesia.
- EEG typically shows high-voltage centrotemporal spikes that may be followed by a slow wave; EEG changes may be present without clinical seizures in BECTS families;
- May be more common in boys than girls.
- Remission is expected and there are no neurologic precursors or sequelae;
Kramer U, Zelnik N, Lerman-Sagie T, Shahar E.
Benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes: clinical characteristics and identification of patients at risk for multiple seizures.
J Child Neurol. 2002;17(1):17-9. PubMed abstract