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Journal of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology
On-line version ISSN 1980-5365
BETTING, Luiz Eduardo and GUERREIRO, Carlos A. M.. Idiopathic generalized epilepsies treatment. J. epilepsy clin. neurophysiol. [online]. 2008, vol.14, suppl.2, pp. 20-24. ISSN 1980-5365. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1676-26492008000600004.
Idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGEs) correspond to one-third of all epilepsies. Despite of this high frequency, IGEs remains underdiagnosed. Clinical features are the cornerstone to diagnosis. In this group all types of generalized seizures may occur such as generalized tonic-clonic, absences and myoclonic seizures. EEG is very supportive of IGEs diagnosis when it shows the typical generalized symmetrical, spike or polispyke and waves complexes with normal background. According to the main seizure type and the age of onset, IGEs are divided in subsyndromes. The importance of the correct diagnosis is supported by the high rate of seizure free patients under appropriate antiepileptic drug therapy. On the other hand, the use of some antiepileptic drugs such as carbamazepine or phenytoin may exacerbate the seizures or even induce status epilepticus in some subsyndromes. In this article, the main antiepileptic drugs used in the treatment of IGEs are reviewed as well as some practical issues for IGEs subsyndromes treatment.
Keywords : Idiophatic generalized epilepsy; medical treatment; antiepileptic drugs; generalized seizures.