14. Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsies

  1. James W. Wheless
  1. Amy L. McGregor

Published Online: 1 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch14

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

How to Cite

McGregor, A. L. (2012) Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsies, in Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents (ed J. W. Wheless), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch14

Editor Information

  1. Department of Pediatric Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program and Neuroscience Institute, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis, TN, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child Neurology, Le Bonheur Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2012
  2. Published Print: 23 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470741238

Online ISBN: 9781119998600



  • idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE);
  • juvenile absence epilepsy;
  • childhood absence epilepsy;
  • myoclonic epilepsy in childhood;
  • juvenile myoclonic epilepsy;
  • syndrome


Idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGE) present at different ages in childhood and adolescence. This chapter will help in establishing an awareness of the typical demographic features, age of onset, and EEG features to enable the clinician to determine which IGE the patient has. This is critically important when making decisions regarding further evaluation (including genetic testing) and treatment; and discussions regarding prognosis. The main seizure types are: typical absence, myoclonic, and generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Patients may have one, a combination of two, or all three. The clinical features, natural history, genetics, treatment and classification are reviewed in general, preceding a more detailed account for each of the major types occurring in the pediatric population.