Generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) is an intermediate form of the Dravet Spectrum Disorders. Seizures begin between infancy and 3 years of age. Usually, the first seizures are febrile seizures, meaning that they occur with fever or illness. Febrile seizures may last until age 6. Afebrile seizures, seizures that occur without fever, may persist beyond that age.
Some parents choose to treat seizures in GEFS+ with anticonvulsants, while other parents choose not to treat if seizures are not frequent. Some children with GEFS+ may need medicines throughout childhood. Later in life, affected children may be seizure free without medications or have occasional breakthrough seizures.
Children with GEFS+ may have mild developmental delay in their motor skills or speech skills.
SCN1A gene mutations are seen in most cases of GEFS+. Genetic studies done on children and their parents show that GEFS+ patients usually have a parent with SCN1A mutation. The parent may or may not have symptoms of the SCN1A mutation. SCN1A mutations GEFS+ are usually missense mutations; that is, they change only one of the more than 2000 amino acid building blocks of the Nav1.1 sodium channel. Further research may find other gene mutations and mutation types in those with GEFS+.
For general information on gene mutations:
Summary of GEFS+
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