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Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy - Topic Overview

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy develops between ages 12 and 18. People with the disorder tend to have seizures that cause jerking in the shoulders or arms. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures and absence seizures may be present along with myoclonic seizures. Seizures often occur early in the morning.

People with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy have normal intelligence and do not have other brain or nerve disorders. A family history of myoclonic seizures is present in about half of the people with the disorder. But the exact cause is unknown. Most people require lifelong treatment with medicine.

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Treatments for Epilepsy in Children

One option for some children with epilepsy is surgery. You may be frightened by the idea of your child having brain surgery. It's definitely a treatment reserved for a select few. But while surgery for epilepsy may be a radical step, improvements have made these operations much safer and more effective. In some cases of epilepsy, doctors can locate the specific part of the brain that is causing the seizures. Once the area is identified, a surgeon may be able to remove that section of the brain without...

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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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