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Juvenile Absence Epilepsy

Last updated March 12, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP


The topic Juvenile Absence Epilepsy you are seeking is a synonym, or alternative name, or is closely related to the medical condition Absence Seizure.

Quick Summary:

  • Seizures are conditions caused by abnormal or disturbed electrical activities of the brain.
  • There are several types of seizures - Absence Seizures is one such disorder that occurs.
    • Either due to the presence of other neurological conditions/disorders affecting the body (classified as symptomatic generalized epilepsies)
    • Or the cause may be entirely unknown (classified as idiopathic generalized epilepsies)
  • Absence Seizures, commonly seen in children, are characterized by a sudden and brief absence of consciousness lasting up to 20 seconds, with intense neuroelectrical activities in the brain, called spike-and-slow wave discharges on the EEG (electroencephalography).
  • They are generally mild and do not cause a collapse of the human body. But, they may occur abruptly and hence, can pose a serious threat to the individual, depending on the activity being performed (like swimming, driving, working with machines,etc.) at that specific instance.

Absence Seizures, also referred to as Petit Mal Epilepsy, are sub-divided into two categories: Typical Absence Seizure and Atypical Absence Seizure

  • Typical Absence Seizures begin abruptly, last 10-30 seconds, and resolve by themselves, without any complications. The individuals seems to simply stop in their tracks (and/or in a mid-sentence), and enters a staring, trance-like state during which they are unresponsive and unaware of the surroundings
  • Atypical Absence Seizures are similar to typical seizures, except they tend to begin more slowly, last longer (up to a few minutes), and can include slumping or falling down

Please find comprehensive information on Absence Seizure regarding definition, distribution, risk factors, causes, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, complications, treatment, prevention, prognosis, and additional useful information HERE.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 12, 2017
Last updated: March 12, 2018