Department of Neurology

What is Rolandic epilepsy?

Q: Please describe a rolandic episode or what is rolandic epilepsy --- especially in reference to a 42-48 month old female.

thank you


A: Rolandic epilepsy refers to a specific childhood syndrome that consists of focal motor seizures, usually involving the face and arm, and generalized tonic-clonic (convulsive) seizures. They are called "Rolandic" because the seizures starts in or near the Rolandic cortex, and there are distinctive EEG spikes in the Rolandic region. They are very familial, that is, they run in families, and it is common for siblings or parents to have had the same epilepsy as a child.

The good news is that they respond extremely well to seizure medications and that children almost always grow out of them by puberty. However, sometimes other epilepsies are mistaken for Rolandic epilepsy, and do not have the same prognosis for remission.

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