We use the simple term “rolandic epilepsy” (RE), although you will also find it labelled elsewhere as “benign rolandic epilepsy” or “benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes” – a bit of a mouthful! Children with RE usually have their first seizure between the ages of 4 and 10 years.
Twice as many boys are affected as girls – we do not know why this is so. However, the fact that the seizures disappear in teenage years suggests that the seizures are a manifestation of the different ways that the brain matures in children with RE. Although the diagnosis is made after seizures have occurred, seizures are often not the first symptom of RE. Earlier in life, concerns about speech delay or reading difficulties may have arisen. Below is a description of some of the features that children with RE may encounter. This is not to say that these features are inevitable – about 1 in 5 children with RE may only experience the odd seizure and have no other complications.
Epilepsy in Children
Many types of epilepsy only occur in childhood, often starting and finishing before 16 years of age. Childhood epilepsies include some of the simplest as well as the most difficult seizure types to treat. Quite often, there are effects on a child’s development and behaviour. Therefore, it is important to be aware of this when considering a child’s epilepsy diagnosis.
Our research studies
Our epilepsy research is aimed at understanding the basic level of cause and mechanism, as well as the clinical level of symptom management.