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Epilepsy Handbook is a synopsis of common clinical types of epilepsy, current management, and counseling. Basic mechanisms are not discussed.
The metaphor used to describe sleep ("automobile with clutch disengaged") and the use of the term "submaximal" to describe partial or focal seizures are not helpful. Although recognizing much evidence to the contrary, the author does not feel that the inheritance of petit mal epilepsy is greater than other types of epilepsy. The author emphasizes sleep as the ideal way to discover seizures. This may be true in temporal lobe epilepsy but not in all seizures, especially in children whose vertex activity may be confused with seizures. Use of the term pseudo-petit mal to describe an electroencephalogram pattern in febrile seizures is confusing and in classical febrile seizures the EEG is normal. The author feels that 6 and 14 cycles per second wave phenomenon is pathologic in many cases, although