Minor or Petit Mal Epilepsy

ABSENCE SEIZURE…| The main feature of this epilepsy is momentary loss of consciousness sometimes with very mild tonic, clonic or atonic components, autonomic components e.g. enuresis or automation. The action of the patient is suddenly arrested for a few seconds. This is associated with sudden stillness of posture or a vacant facial expression, or during conversation there may be missing of few words or there may be break off in the middle of sentence which attracts the attention of his fellowmates. Little twitching of the fingers, eyelids or rolling of the eyeballs may occur sometimes. The patient does not fall as the attack passes off within a few seconds.


If it does not pass off, then the patient falls down. There is no generalised convulsion. When several attacks occur in a day the condition is called . Petit mal usually starts in childhood and may disappear in adolescence or it may be replaced by grand mal epilepsy. Due to recurrent fall on the desk or table a child may develop a local injury on the forehead and this is called “falling sickness.” In atypical absence the onset and termination are more gradual and tone is very much changed.

Myoclonic seizure

There is generalised myoclonus and mental deterioration due to organic brain damages. When it occurs in children it is called infantile massive spasm-so called Jack-knife seizure. This is seen in Epiloia, Phenyl ketonuria and Mongolism.

Akinetic seizure

Here attacks occur in the form of fall on the ground without warning and conscionsness is gained immediately.