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Myoclonic Seizures in Children

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).

 Myoclonic Seizures in Children

Myoclonic Seizures in Children



1. F Zara et al. Am J Hum Gen 2000 May 66(5): 1552-1557.

2. S Yeung et al. Europ J Paediatr Neurol 2000; 4(1): 31-33.

3. LS Leung et al. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2000 Sep 24(7): 763-775.

4. DJ Yen et al. Epilepsia 2000 Sep 41(9) 1162-1166.

5. E Starreveld et al. Can Fam Physician 2000 Sep 46: 1817-1823.

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.

8. Ferri: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 2004 ed., Copyright © 2004 Mosby, Inc.

9. Rakel: Conn’s Current Therapy 2004, 56th ed., Copyright © 2004 Elsevier

Last modified: October 2, 2014

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.