Features of Petit mal seizures

The word Petit mal conveys the meaning: Petit means Petty/small and Mal means an mproper order, unpleasant etc.

So Petit mal should be a Small out of order situation(lasting less than 15 seconds typically)

  1. Petit mal seizures are also called absence seizures.
  2. Characterized by sudden brief lapses of consciousness without loss of postural control.
  3. Lasts for a few seconds,hundreds of episodes per day.
  4. No Post ictal confusion.
  5. Subtle,bilateral motors signs like rapid blinking,chewing,lip smacking maybe present.
  6. Begins in childhood(4-8yrs)
  7. The seizures may sometimes be mistaken for a lack of attention or other misbehavior.
  8. Unexplained difficulties in school and learning difficulties may be the first indication of petit mal seizures.
  9. EEG shows symmetric 3 Hz spike and slow wave discharge.
  10. Maybe associated with Generalized Tonic Clonic Seizures(GTCS)/Grand mal seizures.
  11. Ethosuximide and valproate are the firstline drugs.
  12. Excellent prognosis, 60-70% have spontaneous remission.

Read more about petit mal seizures

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