Benign childhood Epilepsy with CentroTemporal Spikes (=BECTS) or Rolandic epilepsy

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  • Around 15% of all childhood epilepsy
  • Mean debute of seizure at 7 years of age, with a spread 3-13 year. Stops at adolescence.
  • Seizures are usually low frequented, with 10-15% having only one seizure
  • Development is normal.


  • Oropharyngeal motor seizures in 50%
  • Hypersalivation
  • Anarthria
  • Sometimes Jacksonian march up to generalized tonic clonic seizures/ status epilepticus.
  • Most frequent in sleap/ early morning.
  • Triggered by deprivation of sleep


  • Preferably EEG during sleep.
  • Centrotemporal Spike slow wave complex, unilateral or bilateral, with high amplitudes.

Rolandic epilepsy in a 7 year old girl, with centrotemporal spike wave complexes (average)

Rolandic epilepsy in a 7 year old girl (average) EEGpedia.png

Author: Bas Jongbloed, MD, neurology resident, ETZ, Tilburg