Epilepsy: Myoclonic Seizures

Epilepsy: Myoclonic Seizures

Topic Overview

Myoclonic seizures affect a small number of children and adults with generalized epilepsy of unknown cause (idiopathic). In children and teens with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy , the seizures seem to occur most often after waking up or while falling asleep.

During a myoclonic seizure:

  • The arms, legs, torso, or facial muscles jerk rapidly as though they are being shocked.
  • The body may jerk once or many times, on one or both sides of the body, in a rhythmic or random pattern.
  • The person usually does not lose consciousness.

Myoclonic seizures are almost always very brief.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerSteven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology
Last RevisedAugust 28, 2013

Last Revised: August 28, 2013

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