This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Benign rolandic epilepsy (BRE) is the most common form of childhood epilepsy. It is referred to as “benign” because most children outgrow the condition by puberty. This form of epilepsy is characterized by seizures involving a part of the brain called the rolandic area. These seizures typically begin between the ages of 3 and 12 years and occur during the nighttime. Other features of BRE include headaches or migraines and behavioral and/or learning differences. BRE is thought to be a genetic disorder because most affected individuals have a family history of epilepsy. Treatment for BRE may depend on the symptoms and severity in each person. Because BRE resolves on its own before adulthood, many children with BRE who have infrequent seizures that only occur at night do not take anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). However, there have been studies suggesting that BRE may cause lasting cognitive or behavioral problems in some people. Medication is more likely to be recommended in children with frequent or daytime seizures, cognitive impairment, or a learning disorder. Each family must consult with their physician(s) and make their own decision about whether to treat BRE.
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