Rolandic epilepsy is a class of typically considered benign seizures with a well documented history, development, projection, and origin. Unlike most cases of seizures, Rolandic epilepsy follows a defined pattern that has been ascertained to be, in general, harmless and is expected to go away past a certain age. Still, given that a definitive diagnosis of seizures is not a sure science, doctors pay close attention to suspected cases of Rolandic epilepsy before confirming their diagnosis. Because of this, patients and family members alike need to pay close attention to the circumstances surrounding Rolandic seizures in order to properly report the symptoms that can help confirm or reverse a diagnosis.
Rolandic epilepsy got its name because it has been traced to a very specific location in the brain. Termed the Rolandic fissure after its discoverer, Luigi Rolando, the area is right in the center of the brain separating the frontal lobe from the parietal lobe towards the back and the temporal lobe towards the bottom.
The classic symptoms of a Rolandic episode include simple partial seizures accompanied by somatosensory manifestations including a tingling feeling in the mouth, speech problems, or even grunting noises. There is a preference for the seizures occurring at night and there are no documented cases where the seizures are accompanied by psychic or hallucinatory manifestations. In many patients, there are no documented mental effects or hindrances to normal development.
Rolandic epilepsy typically manifests between the ages of 3 to 13 and are oftentimes completely gone by the time the child hits 14 years of age. The peak of the epileptic attacks centers around 8 to 9 years of age and do not have any lasting effects on the mental faculties of the child. At the ages of 8 to 9, doctors can already ascertain, to a certain extent, that the seizures are Rolandic in nature via an EEG that shows spikes in the centrotemporal region.
Because of the nature of the condition, doctors do not often recommend a treatment routine for it. Parents are advised to take careful note of the continuing frequencies of the seizures and if there are no changes in the symptoms, doctors will almost always stand by their recommendation to not perform any treatment. However, in cases where family members insist on Rolandic epilepsy treatment, doctors will prescribe antiepileptic drugs to better manage the seizures.
As to the specific causes of the condition, the medical world have yet to conclusively trace where it is coming from but leading theories suggest that it has a genetic component particularly driven by the abnormalities in chromosome 15. However, the continuing manifestation that it is benign is limiting the interest and efforts in the field considering that there are more urgent cases under the epilepsy umbrella.
While no form of seizure is good in the eyes of parents and patients alike, the diagnosis of Rolandic epilepsy should provide a sigh of relief for families as this will general dissipate and disappear when the child enters adolescent age. Still, always seek the opinion of qualified medical personnel to diagnose a child at the first onset of epilepsy as there are more serious cases than there are benign cases like those of the Rolandic epilepsy nature.