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March 1971

Subclinical "Electrical Status Epilepticus" Induced by Sleep in Children: A Clinical and Electroencephalographic Study of Six Cases

Author Affiliations

Marseille, France
From the Centre Saint Paul pour Enfants Epileptiques and the Department of Neurobiological Research of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Marseille, France.

Arch Neurol. 1971;24(3):242-252. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00480330070006

THE TERM "Etat de Mal" was first coined by Calmeil1 in 1824 to describe suc cessive generalized seizures without awakening in between. Prolonged epileptic manifestations have been described in grand mal epilepsy (grand mal status) as well as in focal epilepsies (epilepsia partialis continual).2 Later, with the advent of electroencephalography, subtlety was achieved in describing those clinical conditions which coincided with prolonged generalized spike and wave discharges on the EEG. Thus, the following terms, petit mal status, absence status, and epilepsia minoris continua, were used to describe a condition in which, clinically, levels of consciousness are almost always altered, varying from mental dullness or obnubilation to a deep comatose state.3 On the EEG it is characterized either by continuous generalized 3 cps or degraded spike-waves interrupted only by very brief periods of nonparoxysmal activity. In these conditions, there exists very few reports describing what happens during