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Genetic Generalized Epilepsies

Gallentine, William B.; Mikati, Mohamad A.

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: October 2012 - Volume 29 - Issue 5 - p 408–419
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0b013e31826bd92a
Invited Review

Summary: In the International League Against Epilepsy's most recent revision of classification and terminology, the term idiopathic epilepsy, previously used to describe those epilepsies whose cause was unknown, but presumed genetic, has been removed. It has been replaced by the term genetic epilepsy, only to be used to describe epilepsy in which the etiology has a known or presumed genetic defect in which seizures are the core symptom of the disorder. The purpose of this article was to review the electroclinical spectrum of those epilepsies that would fall under this new designation of genetic epilepsies in the context of specific generalized epilepsy syndromes providing an update in the clinical, electroencephalographic, and genetic findings in these syndromes.

Division of Pediatric Neurology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to William B. Gallentine, DO, Division of Pediatric Neurology, Duke University Medical Center, T0913 Children's Health Center, Duke University Medical Center, PO Box 3936, 2301 Erwin Road, Durham, North Carolina 27710, U.S.A.; e-mail:

Copyright © 2012 American Clinical Neurophysiology Society