Petit Mal Epilepsy: Results of a Prolonged Follow-Up Study of 117 Patients

Samuel Livingston, Iluminada Torres, Lydia L. Pauli, Rowland V. Rider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Since the advent of electroencephalography, it has been clearly demonstrated that all epileptic seizures of brief duration are not petit mal. It is important that the physician who cares for epileptic patients be cognizant of this fact, since the treatment and prognosis of petit mal epilepsy differ in most respects from that of other types of epilepsy. Petit mal epilepsy is primarily a disorder of childhood and seldom continues into adulthood. It is a comparatively rare type of epileptic spell: of 15,102 epileptic patients, only 364 (2.3%) had “true” petit mal epilepsy. It is a relatively benign disturbance and rarely causes demonstrable evidence of pathological cerebral changes, except in those patients who have frequent attacks of petit mal status. Since patients with petit mal epilepsy are prone to develop major seizures, concurrent administration of petit mal and major motor anticonvulsants (combined therapy) is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 18 1965

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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