What is a Syndrome?
There are many different types of epilepsy classifications. Nowadays, most people are given a specific diagnosis or name for their epilepsy, rather than just told that ‘you have epilepsy’. Some types of epilepsy are classified as syndromes and are defined based on a unique combination of symptoms.
An epilepsy syndrome is a type of epilepsy that depends upon:
- family history
- what age the seizures start
- seizure type(s)
- cause, and other linked diseases/conditions
- how the syndrome progresses over time
- presence or absence of brain abnormalities
- EEG findings
- brain scan findings (such as CT, MRI, PET)
- response to medication.
A diagnosis of a particular epilepsy syndrome is useful in deciding the possible treatment options, what course the condition may take, and the possible genetic risk of passing it on to offspring.
Some types of epilepsy syndromes are:
- West syndrome
- Doose syndrome (Myoclonic Astatic Epilepsy (MAE))
- Rolandic epilepsy (childhood epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes)
- Rasmussen’s syndrome
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
- Landau-Kleffner syndrome
- Sturge-Weber syndrome
- Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.