A peculiar form of epilepsy induced by crying in infancy

Brain Dev. 2007 Sep;29(8):468-72. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2006.12.009. Epub 2007 Feb 20.


We describe a peculiar form of epilepsy following prolonged and vigorous bouts of crying in infancy which was misdiagnosed as breath holding spells. Three patients with crying-induced epilepsy had the following characteristics. The patients were born after uncomplicated pregnancy, labor, and delivery. The seizures presented between the ages of 10 and 18 months, the patients had normal development and cranial MRIs, no past or family histories of epilepsy or cardiac disease, and developed generalized tonic clonic seizures only following crying after a sudden, unexpected and mildly unpleasant stimulus. The seizures usually lasted no longer than 1 min and their EEG showed focal spikes in interictal states and generalized spikes in ictal states. The seizures were well controlled with valproate sodium. This peculiar form of epilepsy may be a benign age-dependent reflex epilepsy in infancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Crying / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / etiology*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Respiration
  • Valproic Acid / therapeutic use


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Valproic Acid