In this epilepsy syndrome, seizures usually begin between the ages of 5 and 7, and originate in the occipital lobe. Seizure symptoms often include: * visual hallucinations * loss of vision, or forced deviation of the eyes * vomiting The hallucinations can take any form, but tend to be of brightly colored shapes of all sizes. Children may then complain of intense headache and may have extended periods of nausea and/or vomiting. BOE can sometimes be mistaken for migraines due to the visual changes and headaches associated with this type of epilepsy. In addition to hallucinations and visual disturbances children may also experience jerking movements on one side of their body.
The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Epilepsy, benign occipital includes the 2 symptoms listed below: * Motor seizures * Visual disturbances
The EEG of a child with BOE shows spikes in the occipital region of the head during sleep, or when the eyes are closed during wakefulness. An MRI scan of the brain will be normal. By definition, BOE is not caused by a structural lesion or abnormality.
Children with BOE are usually neurologically normal and complete seizure control can be attained in 60% of patients.
Since the seizures are of partial origin, medications such as carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine are good treatment options.