Self limited infantile epilepsy

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Self limited infantile epilepsy
Other names: Benign infantile epilepsy (BIE); benign infantile seizures (BIS)

Self limited infantile epilepsy, previously known as benign infantile epilepsy (BIE), is an epilepsy syndrome with onset of seizures in between 3 and 20 months of life.[1] Children generally have no other health problems. These seizures have focal origin within the brain but may then spread to become generalised seizures. The seizures may occur several times a day, often grouped in clusters over one to three days followed by a gap of one to three months.

The EEG, between seizures, is normal. The brain appears normal on MRI scan.[2][3] There are two main forms: familial and nonfamilial.[4]

Treatment with anticonvulsant medication is not necessary but are often prescribed and are effective at controlling the seizures. The condition often resolves after one year.[1]


The familial and nonfamilial forms have overlapping features and the presence of a family history of infantile seizures may be the only distinguishing features. The nonfamiliar form has a larger range of the onset of seizures: from three to twenty months with most occurring between five and six months. There is no difference between the sexes. With benign familial infantile epilepsy, the seizures onset from four to eight months of age.[2]

Some cases of nonfamilial benign infantile seizures occur during a case of mild gastroenteritis. Called benign infantile seizures associated with mild gastroenteritis (BIS with MG), the seizures only occur during this illness and do not recur. Infection with rotavirus is the most common cause.[2]

Although children with benign infantile epilepsy typically have a normal EEG between seizures, some infants have been found to have a characteristic abnormal EEG during sleep. Called benign infantile focal epilepsy with midline spikes and waves during sleep, these infants have few seizures and there may often be a family history.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "SELF LIMITED FAMILIAL AND NON-FAMILIAL INFANTILE EPILEPSY". Archived from the original on 2 August 2023. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Vigevano F, Specchio N, Caraballo R, Watanabe K. Benign familial and nonfamilial seizures. In: Dichter MA, Engel J, Pedley TA, Aicardi J, editors. Epilepsy: a comprehensive textbook. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008. ch. 227. ISBN 0-7817-5777-0
  3. Panayiotopoulos CP. The Epilepsies: Seizures, Syndromes and Management. Oxfordshire: Bladon Medical Publishing; 2005. ch. 6. ISBN 1-904218-34-2. PMID 20821848.
  4. Berg AT, Berkovic SF, Brodie MJ, Buchhalter J, Cross JH, et al. Revised terminology and concepts for organization of seizures and epilepsies: report of the ILAE Commission on Classification and Terminology, 2005-2009. Epilepsia. 2010 Apr;51(4):676-85. 2010 Feb 26. PMID 20196795. doi:10.1111/j.1528-1167.2010.02522.x.