The syndrome of benign partial epilepsy with particular reference to the non-rolandic types is described and the relevant literature reviewed from the Pediatric Seizure Clinic and EEG Laboratory, Beilinson Medical Center, Petah Tikva, and the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Benign Partial Epilepsy is defined as a primary convulsive disorder belonging within the group of age- and localization-related idiopathic epilepsies and characterized by seizures, predominantly partial and amenable to anticonvulsant therapy, that begin in childhood and remit spontaneously before adulthood. The seizures, usually short and mild, include motor and/or somatosensory symptoms and tend to generalize. They are of variable frequency and occur more frequently in sleep. EEG reveals typical focal features on a normal background that tend to normalize during adolescence. Benign epilepsy occurs in normal children having no neurological or intellectual deficits and no history of brain damage. Benign partial epilepsies other than the rolandic type include occipital epilepsy, benign frontal epilepsy, benign epilepsy with affective symptomatology, benign epilepsy with extreme somatosensory evoked potentials, benign partial epilepsy of adolescence and benign epilepsy associated with multiple spike foci. The Landau-Kleffner syndrome is sometimes included among the benign epilepsies because the seizures cease before the age of 12 and the EEG normalizes before the age of 15. Aphasia resolves completely or partially in only 50% of patients. Headache and vomiting or migrainous symptoms are common in benign occipital epilepsy. Children with benign occipital epilepsy associated with headache respond best to phenytoin which relieves both seizures and headaches. [1]

COMMENT. The recognition of the partial epilepsies of childhood is important from the point of view of treatment and prognosis. In children with infrequent seizure occurrence and a diagnosis of benign partial epilepsy the use of potentially toxic anticonvulsant medications may be deferred.