In 1789, Tissot described epilepsy, manifested by loss of consciousness and eye tremors, i.e. absence form.
In 1815, Esquirol introduced the concept of “petit mal” to refer to any small seizures, including absans. Currently, this term is not recommended for use, as it includes not only typical absences, but also myoclonic-astatic, atonic-astatic seizures, and in some cases simple partial paroxysms, which causes confusion in terminology.
Calmeil in 1824 in the work submitted for a doctoral degree, introduced the concept of “absans” in relation to patients with epilepsy.
In the twenties of the 20th century, Sauer proposed to call epilepsy with absans pycoleptic. The term “pycnelepsy” is synonymous with the pediatric form of absence epilepsy and is accepted in German-language literature.
I.P. Pavlov (1934) wrote: “… An epileptic seizure may be without any convulsions. It is enough that there was an explosion of excitement somewhere. We do not know this explosion because it did not express itself, but he led to negative induction, loss of consciousness, weakening of muscles, interrupted literature, etc.
In 1935, Gibbs & Gibbs presented a description of the EEG during an absense, thereby finally confirming the epileptic nature of these attacks.
Absanse forms of epilepsy are idiopathic, generalized epilepsy, with an age-dependent debut, manifested by generalized seizures, primarily abscesses, having a specific EEG pattern — a generalized peak-wave activity with a frequency of 3 Hz.
Due to the fact that different types of generalized seizures occur in the structure of absence epilepsy: abscesses, tonic-clonic seizures, and myoclonic seizures, these farms are more often diagnosed as “epilepsy with polymorphic seizures.” However, the term “polymorphic attacks” does not carry any significant information, is excluded from the classification and is not recommended for use.
Absansy are a type of generalized seizures that can be included as a component in the structure of various forms of idiopathic generalized epilepsy:
- children’s abscess epilepsy;
- youth absanse epilepsy;
- juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (Janz syndrome);
- epilepsy with myoclonic absences (Tassinari syndrome);
- epilepsy with myoclonic-astatic absans (Duse syndrome);
- century myoclonus with absences (Jivons syndrome);
- rare forms of absence epilepsy.
For simple absans, which are externally manifested by the cessation of all activity,
“freezing”, “fading” patients, fixed “absent” eyes (sometimes with eyeballs pointing up), confused by the hypomimetic facial expression, are characterized by:
1) sudden start and end;
2) complete, but short-term (5-10 seconds) loss of consciousness; 3) stop gaze;
4) interruption of voluntary motor activity;
5) the absence of falls and pathological movements;
6) provocation of the attack for hyperventilation;
7) a significant frequency of attacks during the day – dozens, a series of attacks.