What Is Benign Rolandic Epilepsy? Its Symptoms And Treatment

Benign rolandic epilepsy is a form of epilepsy that affects children and is characterized by centro-temporal spikes. This condition is referred to as benign primarily since most children will grow out of the condition by the time they reach their puberty.

Benign rolandic epilepsy is a condition which affects the part of the brain called the rolandic area.

Typically the condition is associated with partial seizures that affect this particular part of the brain. Epidemiological estimates suggest that the condition affects one in five children with epilepsy with no gender differential.

The condition may start between the ages of three to ten years and usually disappear after the age of fifteen years. Children suffering from this condition don’t have any learning or developmental disabilities though some may be associated with difficulties in ability to read, write and draw.

Causes And Symptoms Of Benign Rolandic Epilepsy

Unfortunately little is known about the factors that lead to the development of this disorder. Reports suggest that the condition has a slightly higher prevalence in children with first degree relatives suffering from epilepsy.

There are some characteristic features of this syndrome which differentiates it from other forms of epileptic seizures.

  • The seizure usually occurs on waking up in the morning. The condition is associated with tingling and numbness which usually affects one side of the mouth, tongue, gums and lips.
  • The seizures are associated with unclear speech due to involvement of the muscles of the larynx.
  • Seizures are also associated with alteration between clonic or twitching movements and stiffness or tonic movement. The seizure may gradually spread from the face to the arms and the legs on the same side.
  • In general the child is usually conscious when these seizures occur, however occasionally the condition may affect both the parts of the body resulting in loss of consciousness.
  • Following the seizure the child may remain sleepy for several hours.

How To Treat Benign Rolandic Epilepsy?

The prognosis of the condition is usually good with almost all children recovering from the condition by the time they reach their puberty. However it is important to diagnose the condition before treatment can be started. The diagnosis of the condition is based on an accurate history followed by a battery of tests mainly EEG (Electroencephalogram) and MRI imaging studies. Usually EEG can identify epileptic activities in the rolandic region of the brain and an MRI scan may help confirm the diagnosis.

Contemporary treatment regimen involves prescription of anti-epileptic drugs in order to curb and control the epilepsy. However a multidisciplinary approach may be more beneficial in the management of the condition.

  • A ketonic diet is considered to be vital in the treatment of epilepsy. Ketone bodies have a protective effect and can help avoid the epileptic attacks. A ketonic diet comprises of a diet high in fats and proteins and low in carbohydrates. Maintaining this form of diet through to puberty can help reduce the frequency of rolandic epilepsies.
  • Yoga and meditation is also considered to improve transmission of electrical impulses through the brain and prevent cerebro temporal spikes.
  • Avoiding strong smelling odor can also be useful in triggering an episode of the epilepsy.
  • Homeopathic drug Gelsemium taken in low dosage and repeated about twice a day can have protective effect and can reduce the severity of the epilepsy.

Consult your pediatrician and check the implications of these complementary therapies on your child’s health before attempting them.