15. Cryptogenic and Symptomatic Generalized Epilepsies: Epilepsies with Encephalopathy

  1. James W. Wheless
  1. Karen Keough

Published Online: 1 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch15

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents

How to Cite

Keough, K. (2012) Cryptogenic and Symptomatic Generalized Epilepsies: Epilepsies with Encephalopathy, in Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents (ed J. W. Wheless), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119998600.ch15

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. ‘Specially For Children’, Austin, TX, USA

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470741238

Online ISBN: 9781119998600



  • epilepsy;
  • encephalopathy;
  • neonatal;
  • infant;
  • childhood;
  • syndrome;
  • spasm;
  • seizure;
  • myoclonic


This chapter describes the epilepsy syndromes with encephalopathy occurring in the neonate, infant, or child. They are arranged based on usual age of onset and include: neonatal-onset syndromes of early myoclonic encephalopathy (EME) and early infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE, or Ohtahara syndrome); infantile-onset syndromes including infantile spasms, migrating partial epilepsy of infancy, and Dravet syndrome; and childhood-onset syndromes including epilepsy with myoclonic-atonic seizures (Doose syndrome), Lennox–Gastaut syndrome, Landau–Kleffner syndrome, and epileptic encephalopathy with continuous spike-and-wave during sleep (CSWS). Classifying a patient into an epilepsy syndrome requires an understanding of the following: seizure semiology, age of onset, EEG features, imaging results, and neurological findings on examination, especially cognition. The recognition of a specific syndrome guides therapeutic decisions and allows some prognostication, and may also clarify possible etiologies. Many epilepsy patients will not neatly fit within a specific syndrome.