World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Rolandic epilepsy

Article Id: WHEBN0018691282
Reproduction Date:

Title: Rolandic epilepsy  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Epileptologist, Nocturnal epilepsy, Epilepsy in children, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, Automatism (medicine)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rolandic epilepsy

Rolandic epilepsy
Classification and external resources
Diagram showing the central sulcus of the brain.
ICD-10 G40.0
OMIM 117100
DiseasesDB 33998
eMedicine neuro/641
MeSH D019305

Benign rolandic epilepsy or benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS) is the most common [4]

Signs and symptoms

The cardinal features of rolandic epilepsy are infrequent, often single, focal seizures consisting of:[5][6][7][8][9][10]

a. unilateral facial sensorimotor symptoms (30% of patients)
b. oropharyngolaryngeal manifestations (53% of patients)
c. speech arrest (40% of patients), and
d. hypersalivation (30% of patients)

Hemifacial sensorimotor seizures are often entirely localised in the lower lip or spread to the ipsilateral hand. Motor manifestations are sudden, continuous or bursts of clonic contractions, usually lasting from a few seconds to a minute. Ipsilateral tonic deviation of the mouth is also common. Hemifacial sensory symptoms consist of unilateral numbness mainly in the corner of the mouth. Hemifacial seizures are often associated with an inability to speak and hypersalivation: The left side of my mouth felt numb and started jerking and pulling to the left, and I could not speak to say what was happening to me. Negative myoclonus can be observed in some cases, as an interruption of tonic muscular activity

Oropharyngolaryngeal ictal manifestations are unilateral sensorimotor symptoms inside the mouth. Numbness, and more commonly paraesthesias (tingling, prickling, freezing), are usually diffuse on one side or, exceptionally, may be highly localised even to one tooth. Motor oropharyngolaryngeal symptoms produce strange sounds, such as death rattle, gargling, grunting and guttural sounds, and combinations: In his sleep, he was making guttural noises, with his mouth pulled to the right, ‘as if he was chewing his tongue’. We heard her making strange noises ‘like roaring’ and found her unresponsive, head raised from the pillow, eyes wide open, rivers of saliva coming out of her mouth, rigid.

Arrest of speech is a form of anarthria. The child is unable to utter a single intelligible word and attempts to communicate with gestures. My mouth opened and I could not speak. I wanted to say I cannot speak. At the same time, it was as if somebody was strangling me.

Hypersalivation , a prominent autonomic manifestation, is often associated with hemifacial seizures, oro-pharyngo-laryngeal symptoms and speech arrest. Hypersalivation is not just frothing: Suddenly my mouth is full of saliva, it runs out like a river and I cannot speak.

Syncope-like epileptic seizures may occur, probably as a concurrent symptom of Panayiotopoulos syndrome: She lies there, unconscious with no movements, no convulsions, like a wax work, no life.

Consciousness and recollection are fully retained in more than half (58%) of rolandic seizures. I felt that air was forced into my mouth, I could not speak and I could not close my mouth. I could understand well everything said to me. Other times I feel that there is food in my mouth and there is also a lot of salivation. I cannot speak. In the remainder (42%), consciousness becomes impaired during the ictal progress and in one third there is no recollection of ictal events.

Progression to hemiconvulsions or generalised tonic–clonic seizures occurs in around half of children and hemiconvulsions may be followed by postictal Todd’s hemiparesis .

Duration and circadian distribution: Rolandic seizures are usually brief, lasting for 1–3 min. Three ­quarters of seizures occur during non­rapid eye movement sleep, mainly at sleep onset or just before awakening.

Status epilepticus: Although rare, focal motor status or hemiconvulsive status epilepticus is more likely to occur than secondarily generalised convulsive status epilepticus, which is exceptional.[11][12] Opercular status epilepticus usually occurs in children with atypical evolution or may be induced by carbamazepine or lamotrigine. This state lasts for hours to months and consists of ongoing unilateral or bilateral contractions of the mouth, tongue or eyelids, positive or negative subtle perioral or other myoclonus, dysarthria, speech arrest, difficulties in swallowing, buccofacial apraxia and hypersalivation. These are often associated with continuous spikes and waves on an EEG during NREM sleep.

Other seizure types: Despite prominent hypersalivation, focal seizures with primarily autonomic manifestations autonomic seizures are not considered part of the core clinical syndrome of rolandic epilepsy. However, some children may present with independent autonomic seizures or seizures with mixed rolandic- autonomic manifestations including emesis as in Panayiotopoulos syndrome[13][14][15]

Atypical forms: Rolandic epilepsy may present with atypical manifestations such early age at onset, developmental delay or learning difficulties at inclusion, other seizure types, atypical EEG abnormalities.[12][16][17][18]

These children usually have normal intelligence and development.[2] Learning can remain unimpaired while a child is afflicted with Rolandic epilepsy.


Benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes is thought to be a genetic disorder. An autosomal dominant inheritance with age dependency and variable penetrance has been reported, although not all studies support this theory.[3][19][20] Linkage studies have pointed to a possible susceptibility region on chromosome 15q14, in the vicinity of the alpha-7 subunit of the acetylcholine receptor.[21] Most studies show a slight male predominance.[3] Because of the benign course and age-specific occurrence, it is thought to represent a hereditary impairment of brain maturation.[3]

An association with ELP4 has been identified.[22]


The diagnosis can be confirmed when the characteristic centrotemporal spikes are seen on electroencephalography (EEG).[23] Typically, high-voltage spikes followed by slow waves are seen.[24] Given the nocturnal activity, a sleep EEG can often be helpful. Technically, the label "benign" can only be confirmed if the child's development continues to be normal during follow-up.[3] Neuroimaging, usually with an MRI scan, is only advised for cases with atypical presentation or atypical findings on clinical examination or EEG. The disorder should be differentiated from several other conditions, especially centrotemporal spikes without seizures, centrotemporal spikes with local brain pathology, central spikes in Rett syndrome and fragile X syndrome, malignant rolandic epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy and Landau-Kleffner syndrome.


Given the benign nature of the condition and the low seizure frequency, treatment is often unnecessary. If treatment is warranted or preferred by the child and his or her family, antiepileptic drugs can usually control the seizures easily.[2] Carbamazepine is the most frequently used first-line drug, but many other antiepileptic drugs, including valproate, phenytoin, gabapentin, levetiracetam and sultiame have been found effective as well.[3] Bedtime dosing is advised by some.[25] Treatment can be short and drugs can almost certainly be discontinued after two years without seizures and with normal EEG findings, perhaps even earlier.[3] Parental education about rolandic epilepsy is the cornerstone of correct management. The traumatizing, sometimes long-lasting effect on parents is significant.[26]

It is unclear if there are any benefits to clobazam over other seizure medications.[27]


The prognosis for rolandic seizures is invariably excellent, with probably less than 2% risk of developing absence seizures and less often GTCS in adult life.[5][6][7][8][9][10] Remission usually occurs within 2–4 years from onset and before the age of 16 years. The total number of seizures is low, the majority of patients having fewer than 10 seizures; 10–20% have just a single seizure. About 10–20% may have frequent seizures, but these also remit with age. Children with rolandic seizures may develop usually mild and reversible linguistic, cognitive and behavioural abnormalities during the active phase of the disease.[28][29][30][31] These may be worse in children with onset of seizures before 8 years of age, high rate of occurrence and multifocal EEG spikes.[32][33] The development, social adaptation and occupations of adults with a previous history of rolandic seizures were found normal.[34][35]


The age of onset ranges from 1 to 14 years with 75% starting between 7–10 years. There is a 1.5 male predominance, prevalence is around 15% in children aged 1–15 years with non-febrile seizures and incidence is 10–20/100,000 of children aged 0–15 years[36][37][38][39][40]


  1. ^ Kramer U (July 2008). "Atypical presentations of benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes: a review". J. Child Neurol. 23 (7): 785–90.  
  2. ^ a b c Wirrell EC (1998). "Benign epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes". Epilepsia. 39 Suppl 4: S32–41.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Chahine LM, Mikati MA (December 2006). "Benign pediatric localization-related epilepsies". Epileptic Disord 8 (4): 243–58.  
  4. ^ Benign rolandic epilepsy. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Beaussart, Marc (December 1972). "Benign epilepsy of children with Rolandic (centro-temporal) paroxysmal foci. A clinical entity. Study of 221 cases.". Epilepsia 13 (6): 795–811.  
  6. ^ a b Loiseau, P; Beaussart, M (December 1973). "The seizures of benign childhood epilepsy with Rolandic paroxysmal discharges.". Epilepsia 14 (4): 381–389.  
  7. ^ a b Lerman, P; Kivity, S (April 1975). "Benign focal epilepsy of childhood. A follow-up study of 100 recovered patients.". Archives of neurology 32 (4): 261–264.  
  8. ^ a b Panayiotopoulos, Chrysostomos P. (1 January 1999). "Benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes or Rolandic seizures". Benign Childhood Partial Seizures and Related Epileptic Syndromes. London: John Libbey Eurotext. pp. 33–100.  
  9. ^ a b Dalla, Bernardina; Sgro, Vincenzo; Fejerman, Natalio (1 January 2005). "Epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes and related syndromes". In Roger, Joseph; Bureau, Michelle; Dravet, Charlotte; Genton, Pierre. Epileptic Syndromes in Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence. France: John Libbey Eurotext. pp. 203–225.  
  10. ^ a b Panayiotopoulos, C. P.; Michael, M.; Sanders, S.; Valeta, T.; Koutroumanidis, M. (21 August 2008). "Benign childhood focal epilepsies: assessment of established and newly recognized syndromes". Brain 131 (9): 2264–2286.  
  11. ^ Deonna T, Ziegler AL, Despland PA. Combined myoclonic-astatic and "benign" focal epilepsy of childhood ("atypical benign partial epilepsy of childhood"). A separate syndrome? Neuropediatrics 1986;17(3):144-51.
  12. ^ a b Fejerman, Natalio; Caraballo, Roberto; Tenembaum, Silvia N. (1 April 2000). "Atypical Evolutions of Benign Localization-Related Epilepsies in Children: Are They Predictable?". Epilepsia 41 (4): 380–390.  
  13. ^ Covanis A, Lada C, Skiadas K. Children with Rolandic spikes and ictal vomiting: Rolandic epilepsy or Panayiotopoulos syndrome? Epileptic Disord 2003 September;5(3):139-43
  14. ^ Caraballo R, Cersosimo R, Fejerman N. Panayiotopoulos syndrome: a prospective study of 192 patients. Epilepsia 2007 June;48(6):1054-61.
  15. ^ Specchio N, Trivisano M, Di C, V, Cappelletti S, Masciarelli G, Volkov J et al. Panayiotopoulos syndrome: A clinical, EEG, and neuropsychological study of 93 consecutive patients. Epilepsia 2010 October;51(10):2098-107.
  16. ^ Datta A, Sinclair DB. Benign epilepsy of childhood with rolandic spikes: typical and atypical variants. Pediatr Neurol 2007 March;36(3):141-5
  17. ^ Kramer U. Atypical presentations of benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes: a review. J Child Neurol 2008 July;23(7):785-90.
  18. ^ Wirrell EC, Camfield PR, Gordon KE, Dooley JM, Camfield CS. Benign rolandic epilepsy: atypical features are very common. Journal of Child Neurology 1995;10(6):455-8.
  19. ^ Neubauer BA (2000). "The genetics of rolandic epilepsy". Epileptic Disord. 2 Suppl 1: S67–8.  
  20. ^ Bali B, Kull LL, Strug LJ, et al. (December 2007). "Autosomal dominant inheritance of centrotemporal sharp waves in rolandic epilepsy families". Epilepsia 48 (12): 2266–72.  
  21. ^ Neubauer BA, Fiedler B, Himmelein B, et al. (December 1998). "Centrotemporal spikes in families with rolandic epilepsy: linkage to chromosome 15q14". Neurology 51 (6): 1608–12.  
  22. ^ Strug LJ, Clarke T, Chiang T, et al. (January 2009). "Centrotemporal sharp wave EEG trait in rolandic epilepsy maps to Elongator Protein Complex 4 (ELP4)". Eur. J. Hum. Genet. 17 (9): 1171–1181.  
  23. ^ Blueprints Neurology, 2nd ed.
  24. ^ Stephani U (2000). "Typical semiology of benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS)". Epileptic Disord. 2 Suppl 1: S3–4.  
  25. ^ McAbee GN, Wark JE (September 2000). "A practical approach to uncomplicated seizures in children". Am Fam Physician 62 (5): 1109–16.  
  26. ^ Valeta T. Parental attitude, reaction and education in benign childhood focal seizures. In: Panayiotopoulos CP, editor. The Epilepsies: Seizures, Syndromes and Management.Oxford: Bladon Medical Publishing; 2005. p. 258-61.
  27. ^ Arya, R; Anand, V; Garg, SK; Michael, BD (Oct 4, 2014). "Clobazam monotherapy for partial-onset or generalized-onset seizures.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 10: CD009258.  
  28. ^ Neri ML, Guimaraes CA, Oliveira EP, Duran MH, Medeiros LL, Montenegro MA et al. Neuropsychological assessment of children with rolandic epilepsy: Executive functions. Epilepsy Behav 2012 August;24(4):403-7.
  29. ^ Callenbach PM, Bouma PA, Geerts AT, Arts WF, Stroink H, Peeters EA et al. Long term outcome of benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes: Dutch Study of Epilepsy in Childhood. Seizure 2010 October;19(8):501-6.
  30. ^ Goldberg-Stern H, Gonen OM, Sadeh M, Kivity S, Shuper A, Inbar D. Neuropsychological aspects of benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes. Seizure 2010 January;19(1):12-6.
  31. ^ Danielsson J, Petermann F. Cognitive deficits in children with benign rolandic epilepsy of childhood or rolandic discharges: a study of children between 4 and 7 years of age with and without seizures compared with healthy controls. Epilepsy Behav 2009 December;16(4):646-51.
  32. ^ Piccinelli P, Borgatti R, Aldini A, Bindelli D, Ferri M, Perna S et al. Academic performance in children with rolandic epilepsy. Dev Med Child Neurol 2008 May;50(5):353-6.
  33. ^ Bulgheroni S, Franceschetti S, Vago C, Usilla A, Pantaleoni C, D'Arrigo S et al. Verbal dichotic listening performance and its relationship with EEG features in benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes. Epilepsy Res 2008 March;79(1):31-8.
  34. ^ Blom S, Heijbel J. Benign epilepsy of children with centrotemporal EEG foci: a follow-up study in adulthood of patients initially studied as children. Epilepsia 1982;23(6):629-32.
  35. ^ Loiseau P, Pestre M, Dartigues JF, Commenges D, Barberger-Gateau C, Cohadon S. Long-term prognosis in two forms of childhood epilepsy: typical absence seizures and epilepsy with rolandic (centrotemporal) EEG foci. Annals of Neurology 1983;13(6):642-8.
  36. ^ Sidenvall R, Forsgren L, Heijbel J. Prevalence and characteristics of epilepsy in children in northern Sweden. Seizure 1996;5(2):139-46.
  37. ^ Astradsson A, Olafsson E, Ludvigsson P, Bjorgvinsson H, Hauser WA. Rolandic epilepsy: an incidence study in Iceland. Epilepsia 1998 August;39(8):884-6.
  38. ^ Bouma PA, Bovenkerk AC, Westendorp RG, Brouwer OF. The course of benign partial epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes: a meta-analysis. Neurology 1997;48(2):430-7.
  39. ^ Larsson K, Eeg-Olofsson O. A population based study of epilepsy in children from a Swedish county. Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2006 May;10(3):107-13.
  40. ^ Berg AT, Shinnar S, Levy SR, Testa FM. Newly diagnosed epilepsy in children: presentation at diagnosis. Epilepsia 1999 April;40(4):445-52.

See also


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.