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What is juvenile myoclonic epilepsy?

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy typically manifests itself around the time of puberty, but generally remains a lifelong condition. This condition is defined by myoclonic seizures, although tonic-clonic or absence seizures are possible, as well.

Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Medicine

Juvenile myoclonic (JME) epilepsy is a common type of epilepsy and accounts for approximately 7% of all cases.  This type of epilepsy generally start around puberty, between childhood and early adulthood.     JME generally responds well to treatment.

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) is a common type of generalized epilepsy, which starts in adolescence and young adulthood. Nearly all patients experiencing myoclonus (myoclonic jerks), which affects the arm muscles, making the arm jerk upwards. Sometimes the jerks can result in a fall. The awareness is retained during the jerks. The myoclonic jerks may be brought on by insufficient sleep and alcohol. Tonic-clonic seizures are also common and are most frequent soon after waking and may follow a flurry of myoclonus.

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