Childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) and benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECTS), or benign rolandic epilepsy (BRE), are the most common forms of childhood epilepsy. CAE and BCECTS are well-known and clearly defined syndromes; although they are strongly dissimilar in terms of their pathophysiology, these functional epileptic disturbances share many features such as similar age at onset, overall good prognosis, and inheritance factors. Few reports are available on the concomitance of CAE and BCECTS in the same patients or the later occurrence of generalized epilepsy in patients with a history of partial epilepsy. In most cases described in the literature, absence seizures always started after the onset of benign focal epilepsy but the contrary has never occurred yet. We describe two patients affected by idiopathic generalized epileptic syndrome with typical absences, who experienced BCECTS after remission of seizures and normalization of EEG recordings. While the coexistence of different seizure types within an epileptic syndrome is not uncommon, the occurrence of childhood absence and BCECTS in the same child appears to be extremely rare, and this extraordinary event supports the hypothesis that CAE and BCECTS are two distinct epileptic conditions. However, recent interesting observations in animal models suggest that BCECTS and CAE could be pathophysiologically related and that genetic links could play a large role. © 2011 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cerminara, C., Coniglio, A., El-Malhany, N., Casarelli, L., & Curatolo, P. (2012). Two epileptic syndromes, one brain: Childhood absence epilepsy and benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes. Seizure, 21(1), 70–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2011.09.005