Focal Semiologic and Electroencephalographic Features in Patients with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. P. Kotagal at Section of Pediatric Epilepsy, Department of Neurology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, U.S.A. E-mail:


Summary: Purpose: A few reports have described focal electroencephalographic or clinical features or both of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), but without video-EEG documentation. We examined focal clinical and EEG features in patients with JME who underwent video-EEG monitoring.

Methods: Twenty-six patients (nine males and 17 females) who had seizures recorded during video-EEG monitoring were included. Age at seizure onset was 0 to 22 years (mean, 12.3 years), and age at monitoring was 12 to 44 years (mean, 26.5 years). In one patient with left parietooccipital epilepsy, primary generalized tonic–clonic seizures developed after resection of the parietal tumor. Two patients had both temporal lobe epilepsy and JME. Videotaped seizures in each patient were analyzed. Interictal and ictal EEG also were analyzed for any focal features.

Results: Focal semiologic features were observed in 12 (46%) of 26 patients. Six patients had focal myoclonic seizures, and two had Figure 4 sign: one with version to the left, and another had left version followed by Figure 4 sign, and left arm clonic seizure. Their ictal EEGs were generalized at onset but with a lateralized evolution over the right hemisphere. The patient who had both JME and left parietooccipital epilepsy, right arm clonic seizure, and Figure 4 sign was seen during a generalized EEG seizure. Interictally, one patient had temporal sharp waves, and another had run of spikes in the right frontal region.

Conclusions: Fourteen (54%) of 26 patients with JME exhibited focal semiologic or electroencephalographic features or both. Video-EEG was essential in reaching a correct diagnosis and choosing an appropriate antiepileptic drug regimen.