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Perioral reflex myoclonias: a controlled study in patients with JME and focal epilepsies.

Epilepsia 2006 June
PURPOSE: Perioral reflex myoclonias (PORM) are obvious, frequent, but often unobserved focal seizures in different epileptic syndromes and the leading seizure type in reading epilepsy. PORMs remain often undiagnosed because the patients are not aware that these are epileptic seizures and fail to report them. Their semiology is not fundamentally different in various epileptic syndromes.

METHODS: We studied the frequency of PORM in patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) compared with patients with focal epilepsies. Twenty-five patients with JME were investigated with a standardized neuropsychological test program and compared with 25 matched patients with focal epilepsies. Statistical significance was calculated by using Fisher's exact test.

RESULTS: We found significant differences between the groups regarding both frequency of PORM and activation of epileptic discharges. These observations seem to indicate that PORM, like praxis-induced seizures, are typical traits in JME.

CONCLUSIONS: PORM are more frequent in JME compared with focal epilepsies. The distinction between focal and generalized epileptic ictogenesis may be less clear than is traditionally believed.

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