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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: December 2010

Chapter 9 - Paroxysmal dyskinesias


An epileptic seizure is diagnosed according to clinical findings, including a thorough history and neurological examination with corresponding diagnostic studies, for example, electroencephalography (EEG). Jactatio capitis/corporis nocturna is characterized by rhythmic stereotype head-rolling or body-rocking movements while falling asleep during sleep stage I, or during short arousals during sleep stage II. Syncope is a brief, temporary loss of consciousness due to a transient reduction of cerebral perfusion. Prodromes such as lightheadedness or ringing in the ears in situations involving, for example, long periods of standing upright in poorly ventilated rooms are immediately suggestive of syncope. Narcolepsy is a disorder rarely seen in infants; however, single cases have been reported in patients under four years of age. As with paroxysmal torticollis, a connection between benign paroxysmal dizziness and migraine is also suspected. Symptoms can be suppressed by low-level doses of antiepileptic medication such as phenytoin, carbamazepine/oxcarbazepine or valproic acid.

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