This syndrome was formally known as Benign Rolandic Epilepsy (BRE) or Benign Childhood Epilepsy with Centrotemporal Spikes (BECTS).
Centrotemporal spikes refers to the area of the brain where focal seizures occur in this syndrome, which is the part that controls movements. The term ‘benign’ refers to the fact that most children have normal development and outgrow these seizures during adolescence.
The seizures often start as the child is asleep or about to wake up from sleep. Seizure characteristics can include twitching, numbness or tingling of the child’s face or tongue. Sometimes the seizure can affect speech and may cause drooling. The seizure usually lasts for up to 2 minutes, during which the child is fully conscious.
This syndrome accounts for about 15% of all epilepsies in children. The average age when these seizures begin is about 6 to 8 years old, but they may be seen in children from age 3 to 13 and is more likely to affect boys. The syndrome is more common in children who have close relatives with epilepsy. It is thought to be a genetic form of epilepsy with a possible link to chromosome 15q14.
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