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Benign childhood partial seizures and related epileptic syndromes

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    Benign childhood partial seizures and related epileptic syndromes. Byc p panayiotopoulos (Pp 406, £60.00). Published by John Libbey, London, 1999. ISBN 086196 577 9.

    This book is the result of the author's long standing interest in and contributions to benign epilepsies, particularly those of occipital origin. It is a tremendously useful source book for both the literature and clinical examples of this group of disorders and more than half of the chapters are devoted to the occipital epilepsies.

    Dr Panayiotopoulos puts forward the view that the benign childhood partial seizure disorders should be regarded as one common genetically determined functional derangement but the case for this except in the broad phenotypic classification sense is not made. He thinks that his proposed name of benign childhood (occipital centrotemporal, frontal) seizure susceptibility syndrome has not been taken up in the way in which he would have liked. Some early parts of the book on how to manage a neurophysiology department are not strictly relevant to the main purpose.

    The historical insights into these conditions are fascinating and Dr Panayiotopoulos is to be congratulated on providing a tremendously valuable analysis of this huge literature, which will be used by those working with the developmental epilepsies.

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