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Benign myoclonic epilepsy in infancy: neuropsychological and behavioural outcome

Benign myoclonic epilepsy in infancy: neuropsychological and behavioural outcome

Brain & Development 27(3): 218-223

Benign myoclonic epilepsy in infancy (BMEI) is a rare syndrome of idiopathic generalized epilepsies with onset below 3 years of age. It has been reported that BMEI is associated with a good prognosis, however, recently some studies suggest less favourable neuropsychological outcome. We report a long-term follow-up of seven patients with BMEI. Seizure outcome and neuropsychological, cognitive, and behavioural evolution were discussed for each of them. At the end of follow-up, 86% of children showed neuropsychological and intellectual disorders: two children had mental retardation, three patients achieved a borderline IQ and one normal but low IQ. All but one displayed neuropsychological disabilities including fine motor skill deficits, attention deficits, and language impairment and learning disorders. Our clinical data and the previous reports suggest that the early onset of the seizures may be one of the main factors of the illness giving rise to a less favourable outcome. Additional interacting factors such as delayed start of treatment, and efficacy of the drugs may play an important role, too. We believe that BMEI does not exert, different from some epileptic encephalopathies, a quick destroying effect but may interfere with the growth of developing functions, which results in long-term neuropsychological disabilities. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Accession: 011801882

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PMID: 15737704

DOI: 10.1016/j.braindev.2004.04.011

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