Cryptogenic epilepsy is a disorder that is accompanied by epileptic seizures of unknown origin. In fact, the word «cryptogenic» is translated as «unknown» or «hidden». The diagnosis is established only in the case when carried out all the necessary instrumental and laboratory tests, and the etiological factor was never installed. That is, the cause of this disease is still unknown.


In fact, epilepsy is a fairly common disease among the population. According to various sources, about 1% of all people on the planet suffer from them. Unfortunately, the etiology of seizures is possible to define only a third of all cases. The rest of it is about the cryptogenic origin of the disease.

Unclear etiology may be accompanied as the focal form, which is most often temporal lobe epilepsy, and generalized. Symptomatic temporal lobe epilepsy, in contrast to cryptogenic, has specific pathological changes that cause the clinical picture.

There are two basic forms of cryptogenic epilepsy. They are caused by the localization of the pathological process and extent of clinical manifestations:

  • Focal epilepsy. Characterized by local epileptic foci, which are located in a specific area of the brain and may have some specifics. Most frequently observed temporal lobe epilepsy. It is mainly the number of cases. Temporal lobe epilepsy has a progredient character. Seizures can take polymorphic form, their duration is several minutes. Temporal lobe epilepsy is also characterized by a strong aura that one feels before a specific attack. The focal or focal form can also be localized in the frontal lobe of the brain. Cryptogenic epilepsy indicates that pathological lesion a specific area perhaps, but on closer inspection, this was not detected.
  • Generalized epilepsy. Characterized by the breadth of manifestations that cannot be attributed to any focal region of the brain. That is, clinical symptoms combine signs of multiple lobes are common or generalized. Different methods of research, or do not detect specific causes or give different results that are difficult to interpret.


It is believed that the specific cause cryptogenic epilepsy no or unable to detect. The observed similarity with the classical variant of the disease that has its etiology. It is the possible influence of several important factors:

  • Heredity. The presence of this disease in close relatives or the family greatly increases the chances of getting to the next generation. This may develop any of the varieties of the disease, including focal or generalized epilepsy.
  • Injury. Severe brain injuries cause significant changes in the structure of the brain, which can develop in the attacks. Some of these occur on a functional level and does not identify any methods of the study. Therefore, the pathology will be known as cryptogenic epilepsy. It can be as focal and generalized forms. It most often develops in the frontal and temporal lobe epilepsy.
  • Acute disruption of blood flow. Ischemia in areas of the brain can damage sensitive cells and cause functional changes and other pathology associated with impaired cognitive functions and the occurrence of epileptic foci. That is why, after strokes (acute ischemic circulation disturbances) and transient ischemic attacks increases the frequency of paroxysmal seizures with convulsions.
  • Intoxication. The effects of heavy metals, poisons, and other strong chemicals can cause various changes in the condition of the brain, including epileptic seizures. This may be as an acute reaction to intoxication, and a remote consequence of the incident of poisoning in history.


Largely clinically focal or generalized epilepsy similar to the classic symptomatic epilepsy. All epileptic and other manifestations are virtually indistinguishable. You can still highlight a few key points that are features of this disease.

Features of cryptogenic epilepsy:

  • a Period. In most cases this form of epilepsy harder for patients to tolerate. The attacks are more complex than in other types of epilepsy.
  • Treatment. Practical most of the existing drugs to treat epilepsy do not bring the expected effect of targeting specific pathological processes in the brain. Because the etiology is cryptogenic forms is unknown, respectively, prescribe the right treatment is very difficult.
  • Personal changes. In people with cryptogenic epilepsy much faster come the mental symptoms, as a consequence of the disease. Most often there are signs of epileptic personality, which may then develop a more complex clinic.
  • Extra methods. All the tools that are used in the process of diagnosis of cryptogenic epilepsy, give different results, which are not placed in a General picture of a specific disease. Moreover, they can change over time. The vast majority of cases occur in children, so the problem is this disease is so urgent. Most often in childhood, the disease manifested in the composition of pathological syndromes.

Forms of cryptogenic epilepsy in children:

  • West Syndrome. Early diagnosis of the syndrome of Vesta, which is observed in children from the second month of life. Besides the convulsions, which are considered the classic manifestation of epilepsy, it may be more and more mental retardation.
  • A Lennox Gasto Syndrome. Also a variant of cryptogenic forms in children, which begins to appear between the ages of two to four years. In addition to the seizures, the child often loses his balance and observed other violations of the vestibular apparatus. Sometimes children have short periods of Eclipse of consciousness that reach the level of stun.
  • Duz Syndrome. Presented symmetric myoclonic, which are then replaced by a lack of muscle tone in children. The motor component is detected in flexor and extensor movements, nods.
  • Tassinari Syndrome. This epilepsy of cryptogenic origin, which is mainly represented by absence seizures — short-term outages of consciousness without loss of static body position. Also for the first time diagnosed in children up to 7 years.

The Main aspects of the treatment

Despite the lack of etiological factors, the treatment of cryptogenic forms of epilepsy does not differ from the classic version. That is, use the same drugs for both adults and children.

Treatment of this disease falls on the shoulders of a neurologist, so it is to this specialist should be contacted in the event of such symptoms. His book lays out all the possible diagnostic and treatment methods that are available in a certain medical institution.

Motor symptoms of epilepsy treated with anticonvulsant drugs, such as:

With their help carry out the treatment of generalized forms. They operate in an integrated manner and can eliminate the symptoms at the highest level. If the clinical picture is dominated by motor symptoms in the form of partial seizure that often involves the frontal, parietal, or temporal lobe epilepsy, you should use some other means. They act locally in a specific area. Therefore, treatment should be prescribed only by a qualified technician.

When assigning a specific preparation must take into account the patient's age, as children's body needs a much smaller dosage or another treatment regimen.

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