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Absence seizures


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#1 Mishu

Posted 01 April 2019 - 05:54 PM

Not sure if I am in the right forum - pls move me if there is somewhere more appropriate.

I have a  question about something that my son (13) is experiencing at the moment. He has moments where he 'blanks out' - he describes it as feeling as if he has lost control of his body. I've since video'd him when this happens (most often occurs when he is eating for some reason) - he kind of looks like he skips a beat - he just freezes. It's for a micro-second and then he is back to normal. Will happen multiple times in a minute. If you weren't looking for it, you wouldn't notice it at all. This has all just started in the last few weeks.

We've been to the GP and blood pressure is ok. We've had his eyes tested and are waiting on results from blood tests. Once we get these back, we will talk to the GP about next steps - might need an EEG. But one thing she mentioned was that it might be absence seizures (hence why I video'd). I've googled this and while I know I'm jumping the gun, it does sound like what my son is experiencing.

Does anyone have any experience with this in an older child? What questions should I ask (if it turns out to be this)?

#2 Soontobegran

Posted 01 April 2019 - 06:04 PM

I think the next step should be a referral to a neurologist asap.
Definitely he needs an EEG I think regardless of blood test results although low blood sugar can give this appearance too.


I know several children with absence seizures mostly they have been when younger and they have grown out of them but juvenile onset seizures are quite common.


Lots of luck for your boy.

#3 Mishu

Posted 01 April 2019 - 06:19 PM

Thank you STBG. We should the results in the next day or so (glucose was one of these - I assume for diabetes) and the GP did mention a neurologist. I guess we have to wait for the test results and then get a referral. Hopefully this week. I had never heard of this but it seems it is not uncommon.

#4 QuirkyMum

Posted 01 April 2019 - 06:27 PM

My eldest used to blank out very often, especially when he was eating ( always facing window and even slight wind will make leaves move and he would just stare...).
He had EEG and it showed nothing but two lovely ladies who performed EEG on him said that EEG would only show abnormal readings IF there was a seizure at that moment and, well, there were no trees to look at in the room...
Just saying, maybe find a way to replicate the scenario for when EEG will be performed.
Good luck!
You probably want to get an appointment first and then do the EEG, in case you do need to see the neurologist and have to wait for months.

Edited by QuirkyMum, 01 April 2019 - 06:29 PM.


#5 ytt

Posted 01 April 2019 - 07:17 PM

This happened to my friends daughter I think may have been a year or so older....

I saw her a lot and never ever noticed it.

Turned out she was having absence seizures and showed up on sleep deprived EGC. Started medication, never happened again. Was on medication for a few years and came off it with no issue, had to get medical clearance to get her driver learners permit and was also allowed special provisions in her exams as an epileptic, even in HSC even though she had gone off medication - I think there is many years after medication and no seizures to be considered not an epileptic.

She did gain weight on medication and when she stopped she lost all the weight.

#6 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 01 April 2019 - 07:26 PM

My sister is epileptic. First seizues at 8/9 years of age (the whole dropping to the floor and flapping about type). Also did absent seizures too.

Over many years has done a large number of EEG (including sleep deprived) and has never had a seizure recorded by EEG.

She is in her late 30s now and still needs to take medication (actually recently got her license back - had to be 12m seizure free).



#7 QuirkyMum

Posted 01 April 2019 - 09:34 PM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 01 April 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

My sister is epileptic. First seizues at 8/9 years of age (the whole dropping to the floor and flapping about type). Also did absent seizures too.

Over many years has done a large number of EEG (including sleep deprived) and has never had a seizure recorded by EEG.

She is in her late 30s now and still needs to take medication (actually recently got her license back - had to be 12m seizure free).
Despite EEGs never recording a seizure, they still showed changed/abnormal brain activity?
I was under the impression that if you are having "proper" seizures, they will "show"/after effects will be visible on EEG, while silent seizures are hard to catch and cannot be "seen" afterwards.

#8 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 02 April 2019 - 06:12 AM

I don’t believe so. I just remember my mum referring to the EEGs as a waste of time and money. There was one Neurologist who was constantly ordering them, but the EEGs were showing nothing.

After effects may be visible if there was a close tine between seizure and EEG, but the EEGs were booked in advance and long waits.


#9 Mishu

Posted 02 April 2019 - 07:07 AM

Ok, this may be a really stupid question, but how are EEGs performed? Will my son need to lie down and be still?

If we get to the point of needing an EEG,  I’m thinking if he can move (ie eat something) then whatever he is experiencing will be triggered. Is it going to be possible to do that?

#10 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 02 April 2019 - 07:58 AM

https://www.epilepsy...roencephalogram

“With many types of epilepsy, you only have unusual electrical activity in your brain when you are having a seizure. The rest of the time your brain activity is normal. So, if your EEG test doesn’t show any unusual activity, it usually means that there is no epileptic activity in your brain at the time the test is being done. This doesn’t prove that you don’t have epileptic activity in your brain at other times. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t have epilepsy.”


“Standard EEG tests

You will usually have a standard EEG test at an outpatient’s appointment at the hospital. During the test, you sit or lie down. You may be asked to breathe deeply for some minutes and also to look at a flashing light. These activities can change the electrical activity in your brain, and this will show on the computer. This can help the doctor to make a diagnosis.

You will be asked to keep as still as possible during the test. Any movement can change the electrical activity in your brain, which can affect the results

Routine EEG recordings usually take 20 to 40 minutes, although a typical appointment will last about an hour, including some preparation time at the beginning and some time at the end. Other types of EEG recording may take longer. You can go home as soon as the test has been done.”


#11 smilinggirl

Posted 06 April 2019 - 06:15 PM

My husbands seizures started at 9 and in that time he has had many different types of seizures despite surgery and medication.


It took many years and many EEG's to diagnose the exact place the seizures were occuring. Both the regular EEG's and the sleep deprived one (where he did have seizure activity).

The video that you have is invaluable to the Neurologist. No-one believed the seizures my husband had last year at night, until I showed them the video.

Good luck and pm me if you have questions. My husband is happy to answer any that you or your son have.




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