Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy, or JME, is a generalized epilepsy that presents in adolescence.  It is a generalized epilepsy because the onset of seizures occurs throughout the surface of the brain.  This is indicated by abnormal discharges on EEG, often with strobe light stimulation.

JME often presents with episodic myoclonus, which are involuntary, brief muscle jerking symptoms.  These may be prominent in the morning.  Sometimes this causes small accidents, such as flinging a toothbrush or spoon, apparently by accident.  Patients with JME may also have absence seizures or generalized tonic clonic seizures, although these are less common.  Sleep deprivation may provoke seizures in JME.

People with JME have a risk of seizures throughout their life.  Neurologists recommend to continue treatment to prevent seizures indefinitely.

JME is a fairly common form of epilepsy, accounting for about 5-10 % of all epilepsy cases.

JME is often treated effectively with medication, especially valproate, levetiracetam or lamotrigine.