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Neuropediatrics. 2003 Jun;34(3):152-5.

An unusual case of benign reflex myoclonic epilepsy of infancy.

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Department of Paediatric Neurology, The Children's Hospital, Dublin, Eire.


A previously healthy one-year-old boy, the youngest child of unrelated parents, presented with a four-week history of episodes of myoclonus triggered only by tactile stimulation to his head. There had been no loss of developmental skills. The electroencephalogram (EEG) revealed generalised polyspike wave activity both with and without clinical correlate. The infant was started on sodium valproate, which resulted in cessation of the myoclonic episodes one week after starting therapy. At subsequent follow-up (at 18 months) the infant was seizure free and a repeat EEG was normal. This case of non-progressive reflex myoclonic epilepsy of infancy triggered only by head tapping (and not by acoustic stimuli) is an extremely rare phenomenon. Reflex myoclonic epilepsy of infancy represents a distinct subtype of myoclonic epilepsy in infancy. It should be considered as an age-dependent idiopathic generalised epileptic syndrome with an apparently good prognosis.

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