Rolandic Epilepsy


Rolandic epilepsy is a benign form of epilepsy occurring during childhood, often without any identifiable prior damage, and which is marked by a typical kind of seizure and characteristic changes in an EEG. The prognosis is favorable.

Rolandic epilepsy is one of the most common types of childhood epilepsy.

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    Cause & Symptoms
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    Diagnosis & Therapy
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    Everyday life

Clinical, EEG and Neuropsychological Examination

It is usually very easy to diagnose Rolandic epilepsy due to the typical clinical picture and on the basis of the EEG test results (electroencephalography).

In an EEG, characteristically high spikes with deflections in two directions (biphasic spikes) followed by slow waves can be found above the middle temporal lobe (centrotemporal region).

An EEG of the patients when they are sleeping is able to confirm a preliminary diagnosis.

A physical examination does not usually reveal anything conspicuous.

Neuropsychological tests show the presence of so-called “specific learning disabilities” such as difficulties in concentrating and disruptions to speed, flexibility and perception.

Treatment

The need for treatment is determined by the number and severity of seizures. If the seizures are weak and far apart, and the child is not significantly affected, it may be possible to avoid having to undergo treatment with medication.

Generally speaking, treatment should begin if the child has two or more seizures within the space of six months.

The seizures can usually be brought under control by using antiepileptic drugs. The preferred choice here is normally sulthiame (Ospolot ®). In the majority of cases, seizures become less frequent very quickly and many even disappear entirely.

In isolated cases, it may be necessary to administer clobazam as well. Other anti-epileptic drugs such as carbamazepine may also be used. In addition to this is the fact that Rolandic epilepsy has a common tendency to heal itself. Seizures come to an end themselves shortly before or during puberty at the latest.