The double generalization phenomenon in juvenile absence epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav. 2011 Jul;21(3):318-20. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.04.010. Epub 2011 May 14.


The characterization of a seizure as generalized or focal onset depends on a basic knowledge of the underlying pathophysiology. Recently, an uncommon phenomenon in generalized epilepsy-evolution of seizures from generalized to focal followed by secondary generalization-was reported for the first time. We describe a 15-year-old boy, initially classified as having partial epilepsy, who had a typical absence seizure that became focal with second secondary generalization (double generalization). On the basis of these findings his epilepsy was classified as juvenile absence epilepsy and his treatment was changed, resulting in seizure freedom. This is the first report of this unusual electroclinical evolution in a patient with juvenile absence epilepsy. The recognition of this particular pattern allows correct classification and impacts both treatment and prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Epilepsy, Absence / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy, Absence / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male