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Epileptic Disord. 2009 Mar;11(1):37-41. doi: 10.1684/epd.2009.0243. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

Epileptic negative drop attacks in atypical benign partial epilepsy: a neurophysiological study.

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  • 1Department of pediatrics, Tokyo women medical university, Shinjuku-ku, 162 Tokyo, Japan.



We conducted a computer-assisted polygraphic analysis of drop attacks in a child with atypical benign partial epilepsy (ABPE) to investigate neurophysiological characteristics.


The patient was a six-year two-month-old girl, who had started to have focal motor seizures, later combined with daily epileptic negative myoclonus (ENM) and drop attacks, causing multiple injuries. We studied episodes of ENM and drop attacks using video-polygraphic and computer-assisted back-averaging analysis.


A total of 12 ENM episodes, seven involving the left arm (ENMlt) and five involving both arms (ENMbil), and five drop attacks were captured for analysis. All episodes were time-locked to spike-and-wave complexes (SWC) arising from both centro-temporo-parietal (CTP) areas. The latency between the onset of SWC and ENMlt, ENMbil, and drop attacks reached 68 ms, 42 ms, and 8 ms, respectively. The height of the spike as well as the slow-wave component of SWC for drop attacks were significantly larger than that for both ENMlt and ENMbil (p < 0.05).


Drop attacks were considered to be epileptic negative myoclonus involving not only upper proximal but also axial muscles, causing the body to fall. Thus, drop attacks in ABPE are considered to be epileptic negative drop attacks arising from bilateral CTP foci and differ from drop attacks of a generalized origin seen in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and myoclonic-astatic epilepsy.

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