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Salient Features. 10 year old girl Poor academic performance Absent minded Recurrent, periods of blank staring and inattention A ccompanied by eye blinking, reflex scratching of her head, lip smacking and chewing movements Occurs many times a day. Clinical Impression.

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salient features
Salient Features
  • 10 year old girl
  • Poor academic performance
  • Absent minded
    • Recurrent, periods of blank staring and inattention
    • Accompanied by eye blinking, reflex scratching of her head, lip smacking and chewing movements
    • Occurs many times a day
absence seizure
Absence Seizure
  • A type of generalized seizure, lasting for several seconds to minutes and may occur several times a day
  • Children with idiopathic generalized epilepsies may present with a history of staring spells, but infrequent absence seizures may not be diagnosed until a generalized tonic-clonic seizure has occurred.

Segan, S. (2009). Absence Seizures. American Academy of Neurology and American Epilepsy Society

absence seizure1
Absence Seizure
  • Other symptoms, such as behavioral problems may be the presenting complaint
    • Although the brief attacks are unrecognized, the lapses of awareness interfere with attention
  • Decline in school performance may be an indication of the onset or breakthrough of absence seizures
  • In symptomatic generalized epilepsies, atypical absence seizures often occur in the setting of developmental delay or mental retardation.

Segan, S. (2009). Absence Seizures. American Academy of Neurology and American Epilepsy Society

absence seizure2
Absence Seizure
  • On clinical examination, typical absence seizures appear as:
    • Brief staring spells
      • Patients have no warning phase, and if engaged in gross motor activity, such as walking, they may stop and stand motionless or they may continue to walk
    • Unresponsive during the seizure
      • Children have no memory of what happened during the attack; they are generally unaware that a seizure has occurred

Segan, S. (2009). Absence Seizures. American Academy of Neurology and American Epilepsy Society