Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy

Isabel Alfradique, Marcio Moacyr Vasconcelos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Juvenile myoclonus epilepsy (JME) is a common epileptic syndrome, the etiology of which is genetically determined. Its onset occurs from 6 through 22 years of age, and affected patients present with myoclonic jerks, often associated with generalized tonic-clonic seizures - the most common association - and absence seizures. JME is non-progressive, and there are no abnormalities on clinical examination or intellectual deficits. Psychiatric disorders may coexist. Generalized polyspike-and-waves are the most characteristic electroencephalographic pattern. Usual neuroimaging studies show no abnormalities. Atypical presentations should be entertained, as they are likely to induce misdiagnosis. Prevention of precipitating factors and therapy with valproic acid (VPA) are able to control seizures in the great majority of patients. Whenever VPA is judged to be inappropriate, other antiepileptic drugs such as lamotrigine may be considered. Treatment should not be withdrawn, otherwise recurrences are frequent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1271
Number of pages6
JournalArquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
Issue number4 B
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Diagnosis
  • Etiology
  • Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
  • Treatment


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