Benign infantile seizures (BIS), first described by Fukuyama (1963) as generalized convulsions were later reported as focal or partial seizures, mainly non-familial, and more recently as familial with autosomal dominance. The two types, familial and non-familial, generalized or focal, are now presented as one syndrome of Fukuyama, Watanabe, and Vigevano. The occurrence of the syndrome in Saudi Arabia is reported by researchers at King Fahad Military Hospital, and King Saud University. Inclusion criteria for BIS were as follows: 1) age of onset 2-24 months; 2) normal development; 3) normal interictal EEG; 4) normal brain imaging; and 5) good response to treatment. Of 116 infants, between 2 and 24 months, with epilepsy, 14 (12%) showed electroclinical features consistent with BIS; 11 patients fulfilled criteria for benign non-familial infantile seizures (BNFIS), and 3 had pedigrees consistent with benign familial infantile seizures (BFIS). All responded to anticonvulsants, and 50% responded within 3 months. [1]

COMMENT. First described in Japan, the syndrome of BIS is now reported in other countries, including Saudi Arabia. In the new classification described below, BIS or benign infantile epilepsy is included under the electroclinical syndromes defined by age, but grouped with West syndrome and Dravet syndrome, both having a poor prognosis.