Chronic Juvenile Epilepsy Symptoms

Children who develop juvenile myoclonic epilepsy will most likely have it for the rest of their lives. About 80 percent will need to take anti-epileptic drugs to prevent the return of seizures, according to Epilepsy Action’s website. Some studies have suggested that early treatment of this disease may make the seizures go away permanently.

Myoclonic Seizure

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the definition of a myolconic seizure is when the muscles contract rapidly and briefly on both sides of the body. In rare instances, this type of seizure involves a single arm or foot. They may be mistaken for sudden jerks or simple clumsiness. For those without myolconic seizures, a sudden jerk of the foot during sleep is a good comparison.

This type of seizure happens most often in the morning, often very soon after awakening. The sufferer may have a myoclonic seizure when dressing or eating breakfast. They may also occur at night when the sufferer is tired.

Tonic-Clonic Seizures

Those with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy will most likely have this type of seizure as well. They occur approximately one to two hours after first waking up in the morning. They are more common if the sufferer had a late night or awoke earlier than usual.

A tonic-clonic seizure involves the entire body. It is also known as a grand mal seizure. The muscles in the body go rigid, and there are violent muscle contractions with a possible loss of consciousness. They are the most associated with the term “seizure” or epilepsy.

According to Medline Plus, the sufferer may experience some sort of aura before the tonic-clonic seizure begins. Once it has started the sufferer, may faint or lose consciousness for several minutes, bite the cheek or tongue, stop breathing, or suffer from incontinence. The muscle contractions and tonic posture, or rigidity, usually last for about twenty seconds.

After a tonic-clonic seizure the sufferer may have confusion, loss of memory in regards to the events, headaches, drowsiness, and weakness of one or the other side of the body. According to Medline Plus they may become sleepy, but should regain normal breathing again.

Absence Seizures

This type of seizure is also known as a petit mal seizure. As with other types of seizures associated with juveniles, this type of seizure usually occurs in the morning. It may occur at any time in the day, however. It consists of a staring spell or absence spell.

According to Medline Plus, children ages 6 to 12 prove mostly likely to experience absence seizures. The most common symptoms include a complete lack of movement, changes in the level of consciousness, and no memory of the event. If the spell lasts longer, the sufferer may fumble his or her hands, smack his or her lips or start a chewing motion.

About this Author

Jamie Simpson is a researcher and journalist based in Indianapolis with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. She earned her B.S. in animal science from Purdue University, and more recently a Master of Public Affairs-Certificate in public management from Indiana University. Simpson also works as a massage therapist and equine sports massage therapist.