Hypomotor seizures (characterized by diminished behavioral activity with indeterminate level of consciousness) have been identified as an important seizure type in infants. Our goal was to investigate further the clinical and EEG features of hypomotor seizures. METHODS:
We retrospectively reviewed 110 hypomotor seizures from 34 patients recorded with video-EEG. RESULTS:
Twenty-seven (79%) patients were younger than 48 months, and seven (21%) were aged 4 to 15 years. Seventy-one (64%) seizures had regional or lateralized EEG onset, arising predominantly from temporal or parietal lobe regions. The other 39 (35%) seizures had generalized onset, usually with abrupt onset of diffuse rhythmic high-amplitude theta activity or diffuse electrodecrement and only rarely (two patients) with slow spike-wave complexes or 3-Hz spike-wave complexes. Hypomotor seizures with generalized EEG onset were significantly shorter than those with regional or lateralized onset (p = 0.01, GEE model). Unsustained head or eye movements and subtle mouth automatisms were commonly seen in hypomotor seizures with either focal or generalized onset. Seventeen percent of hypomotor seizures with focal onset evolved to include version of head and eyes or jerking of one arm, whereas 2% of generalized hypomotor seizures evolved to a cluster of spasms. CONCLUSIONS:
Hypomotor seizures may be either focal or generalized. Regional EEG onsets were most often temporal or parietal, suggesting that focal hypomotor seizures may be a bland form of “complex partial” seizures with no or minimal automatisms, seen predominantly in infants. Generalized hypomotor seizures were rarely associated with an ictal pattern of generalized spike-wave complexes, suggesting a different mechanism from absence seizures seen later in life 1).