Benign rolandic epilepsy is a very common epilepsy syndrome seen in children. The seizures begin between the ages of 2 years old and 13 years old. Another name for these types of seizures is benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS). There is usually a hereditary cause to why these seizures occur.
The characteristics surrounding these seizures include a partial twitching or a numbness or tingling sensation that may arise on either side of the face or the tongue. The side can change from seizure to seizure. Tonic- clonic seizures can happen as well. In addition, these seizures usually occur during sleep or the transition into and out of sleep.
Seizures in benign rolandic epilepsy do not happen often and have a tendency to occur in clusters of several seizures in a week’s time. After a six month period, the individual will be seizure free. There are those individuals that need to be treated by drug therapy although benign rolandic epilepsy do not necessarily always need to be treated. The individuals that need medications also have daytime and/or recurring tonic- clonic seizures, a learning or cognitive disorder, or nighttime seizures that causes the person to be tired in the morning.
Benign rolandic seizures can be controlled with low to moderate dosages of medications for those who have partial epilepsy. The medication can be discontinued in the future by adolescence because benign rolandic seizures usually dissipate by that time.
Source: “Epilepsy: A Patient And Family Guide” by Orrin Devinsky, MD