People with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) have myoclonic seizures, characterized by quick little jerks of the arms, shoulders, or occasionally the legs. These usually occur in the early morning, soon after awakening. The myoclonic jerks sometimes are followed by a tonic-clonic seizure or tonic-clonic seizures can occur independently. Absence seizures also may occur, where the patient seems to ‘blank out’ for a short period of time that can last from seconds to several minutes.
The seizures of JME may begin between late childhood and early adulthood, usually around the time of puberty.
How is juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) treated?
Seizures in the majority of patients with JME are well controlled with medication generally prescribed to treat seizure disorders, but most need to stay on medication for life.