Jeavons Syndrome: Clinical Features and Response to Treatment

Kelsey M. Smith, Paul E. Youssef, Elaine C. Wirrell, Katherine C. Nickels, Eric T. Payne, Jeffrey W. Britton, Cheolsu Shin, Gregory D. Cascino, Marc C. Patterson, Lily C. Wong-Kisiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Jeavons syndrome is an underreported epileptic syndrome characterized by eyelid myoclonia, eyelid closure-induced seizures or electroencephalography paroxysms, and photosensitivity. Drug-resistant epilepsy is common, but the prognostic factors and clinical course leading to drug resistance have not been well characterized. Methods: We identified 30 patients who met the diagnostic criteria of Jeavons syndrome at a single institution between January 1, 2000 and December 15, 2016. Criteria for Jeavons syndrome included all of the following: (1) eyelid myoclonia with or without absences, (2) eye–closure-induced seizures or electroencephalography paroxysms, and (3) seizure onset after 12 months of age. We reviewed and described the epilepsy history, antiepileptic drug trials, and response to treatments. Results: Mean age at seizure onset was 7.3 years, and 80% were female. Absence seizures (63%) and generalized tonic-clonic seizures (23%) were most common at onset. Diagnosis was delayed by an average of 9.6 years. After a median follow-up of two years, 80% of patients had drug resistant epilepsy and 70% experienced generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures and seizure types other than absence seizures increased the risk of drug-resistant epilepsy (P values 0.049 and 0.03, respectively). Valproic acid, lamotrigine, ethosuximide, and levetiracetam were the most effective in reducing seizures by more than 50%. Conclusions: The diagnosis of Jeavons syndrome is often delayed. Generalized tonic-clonic seizures and seizure types other than absence seizures may be predictors of drug-resistant epilepsy among patients with Jeavons syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Eyelid myoclonia with or without absence
  • Generalized epilepsy
  • Jeavons syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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