Seizure characteristics in chromosome 20 benign familial neonatal convulsions

Neurology. 1993 Jul;43(7):1355-60. doi: 10.1212/wnl.43.7.1355.


We studied a kindred of 69 affected individuals with the autosomal dominant epileptic syndrome of benign familial neonatal convulsions, linked to chromosome 20. Forty-two percent had their seizure onset on day 3, while remission took place in 68% during the first 6 weeks. Seizures were brief and the phenotype was of a mixed seizure type, starting with tonic posture, ocular symptoms, apnea, and other autonomic features. The seizure often progressed to clonic movements and motor automatisms. The postictal state was brief, and interictally the neonates looked well. The ictal EEG pattern with generalized suppression of amplitude on onset may be relatively unique. Neurocognitive outcome was usually normal, but the risk for subsequent epilepsy was 16%. Most of the later epilepsy was generalized tonic or tonic-clonic, and some seizures were provoked, raising the possibility of an unusual form of reflex epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 20*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / genetics*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Pedigree
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Time Factors