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Seizure. 2009 Jul;18(6):440-5. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2009.04.004. Epub 2009 May 5.

A study of 63 cases with eyelid myoclonia with or without absences: type of seizure or an epileptic syndrome?

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Neurology Department, Hospital Nacional de PediatrĂ­a. Prof Dr Juan P Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Eyelid myoclonia and absences (EMA) induced by eye closure associated with brief, fast, and generalized paroxysms of polyspikes and waves was considered as an epileptic syndrome and a type of seizure as well. We analyzed the electroclinical features and evolution of EMA, and tried to determine if it represents a well-defined epileptic syndrome or a non-specific condition associated to other epilepsies.


Between June 1994 and June 2005, 63 patients who met diagnostic criteria of EMA were enrolled in the study and have been followed up to the present time.


Two main groups could be identified. The first group was divided into two subgroups. One subgroup of 28 patients presented EMA associated with infrequent generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS), and the other 1 of 9 patients presented early-onset EMA refractory to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), associated or not with GTCS and mental retardation. Four of them had self-induced seizures. The second group included 26 patients with EMA associated with GTCS and/or massive myoclonias, or GTCS induced by intermittent photic stimulation. All these patients had electroclinical features compatible with idiopathic generalized epilepsies.


In the first group, EMA should be considered as a photosensitive idiopathic epileptic syndrome. A subgroup of early-onset of EMA refractory to AEDs, associated or not with GTCS and mental retardation should also be considered as a variant or a distinct photosensitive idiopathic epileptic syndrome. Finally, in the second group EMA may correspond to a type of seizures in idiopathic generalized epilepsies.

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