Myoclonic seizures occur in children and do not lead to a loss of consciousness.
There is a brief electrical like jerk in one or several extremities or the trunk, called myoclonus. More may follow and occasionally a tonic-clonic seizure will be next. There is now evidence that myoclonic seizures can be inherited in a recessive autosomal fashion (see Ref.1).
Valproic acid (brand names: Depakene, Deproic) is used initially for myoclonic seizures. If this fails to control the seizure, the back up medication is clonazepam (Rivotril, Clonapam).
These seizures like atonic and infantile spasm are often difficult to get under control and the neurologist might have to try several anti-epileptic medications on a trial basis first before the right combination for the patient can be found. Lately the use of topiramate has been suggested for the more difficult to treat epileptic seizures including myoclonic seizures (Ref.2).
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6. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 172.
7. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 271, p.2415.
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9. Rakel: Conn’s Current Therapy 2004, 56th ed., Copyright © 2004 Elsevier