A clinical and genetic study of 33 new cases with early-onset absence epilepsy

Lucio Giordano, Aglaia Vignoli, Patrizia Accorsi, Jessica Galli, Marianna Pezzella, Monica Traverso, Silvia Battaglia, Maria Giuseppina Baglietto, Francesca Beccaria, Caterina Cerminara, Silvia Gambara, Ennio Del Giudice, Giovanni Crichiutti, Francesca Bisulli, Mariangela Pinci, Paolo Tinuper, Eleonora Briatore, Stefano Calzolari, Antonietta Coppola, Maria Paola CaneviniGiuseppe Capovilla, Salvatore Striano, Federico Zara, Carlo Minetti, Pasquale Striano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the electroclinical features and the outcome of patients with typical absences starting before the 3 years of life. Methods: We reviewed the clinical data of patients with absences started before 3 years observed over a 15-year period. Mutation analysis of SLC2A1 (GLUT-1) gene was performed when possible. Their clinical features were compared with those of subjects with a diagnosis of childhood absence epilepsy (CAE). Results: Among 33 children with absence epilepsy starting before 3 years of life, there were 20 boys and 13 girls. Mean seizure onset was at 28.0 ± 8.3 (range: 8-36) months of life. Two children displayed borderline intellectual functioning at long-term follow-up. Twenty-eight (85%) patients showed excellent response to therapy. Three subjects evolved into a different form of idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE). No SLC2A1 mutation was identified in 20 (60.6%) patients tested.The main clinical features of patients with early-onset absences did not differ from those of CAE except for increased prevalence of males (p=0.002) and longer treatment duration (p=0.001) in the former. Conclusions: Strong similarities in the electroclinical features and outcome between children with early-onset absences and those with CAE support the view that these conditions are part of the wide spectrum of IGE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Absence epilepsy
  • Early-onset
  • EEG
  • IGE
  • SLC2A1
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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