Epilepsy

  • I have had seizures for four years since I was 16. I have been told I have juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. Can you tell more about this?

    There are several different forms of epilepsy which tend to start at different ages. Juvenile means onset from about 12-20 years old. Myoclonic is a sudden jerk and in JME they usually occur in the first hour after waking. It can be a single sudden jerk of the arm or there maybe several jerks preceding a generalised convulsion, often caused by a late night (sleep deprivation). Usually the epilepsy can be controlled very well with medication, but often needs to be taken for life. JME can be inheirited in families.

  • Is epilepsy inherited?

    Epilepsy is the result of a large number of disorders. A very few of these are inherited. One type of epilepsy that has a moderate tendency to be inherited is juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

    Recently, an Australian group has found that an unusual type of epilepsy, nocturnal frontal-lobe epilepsy, is strongly inherited and the gene responsible for the disorder has been identified.