JAE is one of the most common forms of epilepsy in adolescents, with onset usually occurring around puberty. The main seizure type in JAE is absence seizures, but can also include infrequent generalised tonic-clonic seizures and sporadic myoclonic jerks. People with JAE are also at a higher risk of non-convulsive status epilepticus. The cause of JAE is predominately genetic and, in some cases family members may have similar seizures or other generalised epilepsies.
Children who experience frequent absence seizures may experience some learning difficulties. It is not uncommon for children with JAE to experience attention, concentration and memory difficulties prior to the diagnosis of JAE and learning problems may improve after treatment commences.
People living with JAE will usually require lifelong treatment with AEDs, and generally have a good prognosis.
For more information about JME visit the Epilepsy Foundation USA