Seizures are bursts of electrical information in the brain that cause symptoms like a loss of consciousness, muscle jerking, and confusion. Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures. A pediatrician may diagnose your child with epilepsy if they experience two or more seizures that have no other known cause.
Benign Rolandic epilepsy is also called benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes. Medical texts sometimes shorten this to “BCECTS.”
It’s the most common childhood epilepsy, and it affects about
Keep reading to learn more about benign Rolandic epilepsy, including its symptoms, risk factors, and treatments.
This type of epilepsy most commonly develops between the ages of 3 and 12 years. It’s called “benign” because most children outgrow it during adolescence. The name “Rolandic” refers to the part of the brain in which the seizures develop: the Rolandic area, or centrotemporal area. This part of your child’s brain controls their face, mouth, and throat.
Children with benign Rolandic epilepsy typically experience seizures shortly after they go to bed or before they wake up. The seizures tend to be infrequent and last less than 2 minutes.
The exact cause is unknown. It’s thought that genetics play a role in its development because about
The symptoms of this condition can include:
- speaking with gurgling noises
- increased salivation
- facial twitching or stiffness
- facial and throat numbness or tingling
- an inability to speak
Certain symptoms typically develop on one side of the body, though they sometimes spread to both sides.
In some cases, the symptoms may also include:
Boys develop this condition slightly more often than girls. In a group of 25 children with benign Rolandic epilepsy, researchers would expect to find
The condition most commonly develops in children ages 6 to 8 years, but the seizures can start anywhere between the ages of 3 and 13.
Children with a family history of epilepsy are more likely to develop it than those without this history.
Doctors first consider a child’s symptoms and examine their personal and family medical histories. They also use information from an electroencephalogram (EEG). An EEG is a machine that measures brain activity.
If the EEG reading shows spikes in the centrotemporal region of your child’s brain, it can be indicative of this health issue.
A doctor may also use MRI scans to examine your child’s brain, but an MRI is often not necessary if your child has the typical symptoms.
Usually, children with this condition have infrequent seizures that occur at night. Many children don’t need to take antiseizure drugs.
In general, the doctor may recommend antiseizure medication if your child has:
- frequent seizures
- cognitive problems
- a learning disorder
- daytime seizures
If they do recommend medication, the most common options are:
It’s important to seek medical care when your child has their first seizure. Health issues other than epilepsy — such as medication side effects and diabetes — can also cause seizures, and a doctor needs to rule these out. Then, they can help develop the best treatment plan.
When to call 911
It’s critical to seek immediate medical attention if your child:
- has a seizure that lasts longer than 5 minutes
- doesn’t wake up after their seizure
- has repeated seizures
- gets hurt during their seizure
- has more than one seizure in 24 hours
- has a seizure in water
- has never had a seizure before
If you think your child is having a seizure, it’s important to stay calm. This can help keep your child from hurting themselves. If your child isn’t convulsing, you can simply stay with them while observing their behavior and timing their seizure.
If your child is convulsing:
- Don’t put anything in their mouth.
- Don’t try to stop their movements.
- Gently try to put them in a safe position, which might involve guiding them down to a soft surface.
- Try to help them onto their side, so drool runs out of their mouth.
Whether a children receives medication for the condition or not, the outlook is excellent. The seizures stop by the age of 15 or 16 in about
Some children with benign Rolandic epilepsy have behavioral or learning difficulties. These usually go away by adolescence, when their seizures pass.
Benign Rolandic epilepsy is the most common children’s epilepsy disorder. Other common types include:
Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is the most common generalized epilepsy syndrome. Generalized means that it develops in a child’s whole brain. It typically causes seizures shortly after waking up.
Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is considered a
Childhood absence epilepsy
Gastaut-type childhood idiopathic occipital epilepsy
This typically develops in late childhood and causes seizures that start with blindness or visual hallucinations. The seizures are usually frequent and occur during the day. About 90 percent of children with this type of epilepsy respond to the drug carbamazepine. The seizures go away within 2 to 4 years in more than half of those who have them.
Benign Rolandic epilepsy, or BCECTS, is the most common type of childhood epilepsy. It typically has an excellent outlook, and most children outgrow it by
If you suspect that your child has had a seizure, it’s important to visit their doctor, who can make the diagnosis and determine whether they will benefit from taking antiseizure medication.