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Reflex myoclonic epilepsy in infancy: a critical review.

Benign myoclonic epilepsy in infancy, classified among the generalised idiopathic epilepsies, is characterised by the occurrence of myoclonic seizures in the first three years of life in otherwise normal infants. Some authors have described cases of myoclonic seizures as a reflex response to sudden unexpected tactile or acoustic stimuli and this clinical entity has been proposed as a separate nosographic syndrome, referred to as "reflex myoclonic epilepsy in infancy" (RMEI). We reviewed all published articles and case reports on RMEI in order to clarify clinical and electroencephalographic findings, with particular attention to outcome and treatment. RMEI appears to be a benign variant of idiopathic myoclonic epilepsy in infancy with specific features that occur in neurologically and developmentally normal children. This rare clinical entity is often under-described and under-diagnosed, and for this reason should be brought to the attention of paediatricians in order to avoid extensive investigations and reassure parents of the lack of long-term complications.

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