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Benign Rolandic Epilepsy

What is benign rolandic epilepsy?

Benign rolandic epilepsy, also known as benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS), is an epilepsy syndrome affecting children, characterized by twitching, numbness, or tingling of the child's face or tongue, and may interfere with speech and cause drooling. Seizures spread and become generalized seizures.

In many cases, the seizures are infrequent and usually occur only at night. These seizures typically last no more than 2 minutes and the child remains fully conscious.

BRE typically begins around ages 6-8, and is more likely to affect boys than girls. This syndrome represents about 15% of all epilepsies in children.

How is benign rolandic epilepsy treated?

Many children do not take any seizure medicines for BRE, and seizures nearly always stop by early adolescence. Medication may be prescribed if the child has seizures during the day, seizures disrupt sleep at night, or the child has a reading disability that may be associated with BRE.  The following common seizure medicines may be prescribed:

  • Carbamazepine
  • Levetiracetam
  • Oxcarbazepine

Request an appointment

For more information about benign rolandic epilepsy or to meet with our doctors, request an appointment at the Epilepsy Center.


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