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Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 2005;181:57-62.

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy--a generalized epilepsy syndrome?

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.


Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) has been classified as a syndrome of idiopathic generalized epilepsy and is characterized by specific types of seizures, showing a lack of pathology using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography scanning. However, JME is associated with a particular personality profile, and behavioral and neuropsychologic studies have suggested the possible involvement of frontal lobe dysfunction. The development of highly sensitive neuroimaging techniques has provided a means of elucidating the underlying mechanisms of JME. For example, positron emission tomography has demonstrated neurotransmitter changes in the cerebral cortex, quantitative MRI has revealed significant abnormalities of cortical gray matter in medial frontal areas, and 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy has shown evidence of thalamic dysfunction, which appears to be progressive. Such techniques provide evidence of multi-focal disease mechanisms, suggesting that JME is a frontal lobe variant of a multi-regional, thalamocortical 'network' epilepsy, rather than a generalized epilepsy syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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