Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wetting

My 8 year old son was diagnosed with benign Rolandic epilepsy last year after 2 separate seizures during the early morning hours about a year a part. He recently had another, about nine months after the last one.

He is also a chronic bed wetter. We have attributed this to how deep he seems to sleep. It is very difficult to awaken him during the night. We purchased a device that will vibrate when it comes into contact with moisture. Our first attempt at using it coincided with his most recent seizure. We have been fearful to use it since. He is embarrassed by the bed wetting and frustrated that his 5 year old brother has no problems at night.

Does anyone else have a similar experience and/or recommendation for addressing this? I really believe the 2 are related.

We have 4 sons from ages 2 to 10. He is the only one who has these issues. Apart from these, he seems fine. He is a great student, and has no behavioral problems.


Re: Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wetting

My daughter is 13, and has suffered from bedwetting. Two weeks ago, she had a seizure which lasted about 3 minutes. It happened in them morning. She had an episode several months prior where she woke up sitting on the floor, leaning against a bedside table. She did not remember getting up through the night-possibly a seizure that we didnt know about? After the seizure, she had a CT scan, blood work-all came back normal. She recently had a 24 hour EEG, which came back with some abnormalities. The pediatrician thinks it is the BRE. She has a consultation with a pediatric neurologist next week. She has seemed to have some trouble concentrating in school, no behavior problems, but seems very moody. Can I assume that these are all related?

Re: Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wetting

When you say chronic, how often do you mean? Our 5 year old was diagnosed with Benign Occipital Childhood Epilepsy in February. The doctor also thought it could be Benign Rolandic because of certain similarities but ruled it out. I ask about the frequency because when our daugther had two seizures during sleep, she wet her bed. This was our main indication that she had seizures those nights. Had she not wet her bed, we probably would not have known that she had a seizure because she can sleep through it. Have you mentioned it to your doctor? Is it possible he is having seizures on the nights he has wet his bed? I think (and I may have my facts wrong) that with Benign Rolandic E, around 2/3 of the seizures occur during sleep. I can understand your son's frustration and I hope things get better soon. The good news (as I am sure you know) about BRE is the child is expected to outgrow it in a few years. Take care.

Re: Re: Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wetting

Thanks for the response, ekoorb. By chronic I mean every night.

We have monitored him pretty closely regarding the siezures (baby monitor) and were pretty sure that they have been few, even if we have missed some here and there. The neurologist was pretty confident that it is benign Rolandic. Apparently, there is a specific indicator on the EEG during sleep that classifies it.

The doctor suggested the bed-wetting device. We're just afraid to use it again.

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I had a girlfriend who used a devise for potty training when her son was in kindergarten that was put in her son's underwear and when it got wet, something would occur with the devise that would wake him up as he started to go to the bathroom. She said it worked pretty quickly and it did not hurt him. Did something happen that made you afraid to use the devise? I can find out what devise my girlfriend used it you would like.

Did the doctor say s/he did not believe the bed-wetting was related to seizure activity/BRE? Has your son ever done an overnight VEEG?

Also, I agree there is a certain indicator on the EEG to classify it. Our daugther did a 24 hour VEEG and our E specialist was looking for certain spike/patterns to determine whether it was BRE or BOCE. When certain patterns were not there, he ruled out BRE and concluded BOCE. Both forms often include nausea or vomitting before the seizure.

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I believe it is a similar device that we purchased. The first night we had him use it, he ended up having a seizure early the next morning. It is likely that the stress of using the foreign object, or lack of sleep, or combination is what caused the seizure, in my opinion.

The doctor hasn't said if he thinks the two are related. I'll definately ask on the next visit.

I haven't heard about the nausea or vomitting before seizures. We haven't experienced that.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wet

If your neurologist recommended the devise for bed wetting, s/he probably does not think it will cause a seizure. Maybe you should try it on a Friday and Saturday night when he does not have school the next day. I am sure it is really tough emotionally for a nine year to accept the fact that he is wetting his bed and maybe this devise will help him. I know it is scary to think you are doing anything that could bring on a seizure but hopefully when you try it again, everything will be ok.

By the way, was your son wetting his bed before he was diagnosed with E or did it occur after? Is your son on any meds? Could that have any effect on his sleep and wetting the bed? Do you guys see an E specialist or a general neurologist?

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Good idea about the weekend. It really is just the fear of causing another seizure. But I think the stigma of bed wetting is even more damaging.

He was wetting the bed before being diagnosed. He seemed to have a handle on it for a while, off and on. But for the past 1-1.5 years it is pretty much an every night thing. He isn't taking any meds.

We have only talked to a general neurologist so far.

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Have you mentioned it to your pediatrician? If he is doing it every night, maybe there is some physical reason. You have to wonder if there is some sort of a correlation to E because it sounds like your son's bed wetting problem started within months of his seizures starting.

You should read some of the threads of adults here who saw general neurologists for years. They all seem to recommend the benefits of going to an E specialist. We first started with a general one (who was a complete -SS) and switched to Children's Memorial to a epiologist (sp?). At the time we were new to E and I did not even realize he was a specialist because I did not know that existed. I just knew he was with an amazing practice. He truly changed our lives. If you are happy with your doc and things are going well with your son, there may not be a reason to change but if things get tougher, it is definitely something to look into.

Keep me posted on the success of the device. I am going to add you to my buddy list. Hopefully we can chat some day in the chat room. Good luck.

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Hi rhettr
I know it has been a few months since you wrote this, but I can definitely tell you that in my son's case, epilepsy and bedwetting goes hand in hand. He is now 6 and was diagnosed with epilepsy (complex partial) in May 06 - since he has been on meds, his bedwetting has decreased DRAMATICALLY! Now, I know that a wet night is a sign of a night time seizure for him, and I call my neuro immediately - he normally ups the dose of meds then.

It has been a great relief to not have to wash sheets all the time! I keep a bedwetting pad in his bed just for in case. Good luck!

Re: Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wetting

kimberly n twins

this past weekend my 9 year old son had a seizure, i took him to the ER and they said sudden onset of seizures and benign rolandic epilepsy they stated that this is a nocturnal type of epilepsy but that day in the ER he had another seizure and then one at 8 45 pm we have yet to see the Neuro Doc but i am confused about this and very scared. also my son is a chronic bedwetter and has never really had a dry night. maybe 10 in all 9 years i have also tried the bed wetting machine to help him at night but it did not work... i searched the web and found this site.. i am just a fearful for my son. and the Dr i saw in the hospital acted like my questions were wasting her time just worried..

Re: Re: Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wetting

Hi Kimberly,
Sorry to hear about your sudden scary experience with your son. If you go to Mama Bear and read my blog you will see that my 2 1/2 year old has just started having clusters of seizures all of the sudden. This has effected his potty training, but I am not worrying about that too much. From what I have read there are some people who loose bladder or bowel control while seizing. Try really hard to stay calm for your little guy while you get all the testing done. Keep reading the Community Forums and parent sites on this web site so that you can hear about what others are going through so everything does not seem so scary and foreign.

I wish that I could tell you that everything will be over quick. But now we are on week three and it is not QUITE as scary as the beginning. Please email people as much as possible, in the beginning it was through emailing with a couple of other mommies that I was able to allow myself to cry and still be strong for my family.

What type of seizures is he having? Are you waiting right now for the EEG? keep me posted on how he does.

I really wish you the best of luck,
Mamma bear (Tresa)

Re: Re: Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wetting

If the doctors are diagnosing your son with Benign Rolandic Childhood Epilepsy, you should remain hopeful because according to our neurologist most of the children outgrow this. While it is true most of the seizures occur at night (at least 2/3) that does not mean with BRE that a child can never have one during the day. You should try to get into a epilepsy specialist as soon as possible. My daugther was diagnosed with Benign Occipital Childhood Epilepsy which is similiar to BRE in that it has a good prognosis and similiar in some of the ways its manifests. Does your son's seizures involve vomitting? Does he stare off for some time when he has it or does some something else occur? Did the doc put him on meds? Don't let the hospital doctor make you feel like the questions are not important. They are very important and you need to find a caring doc.

Re: Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and chronic bed wetting

My daughter was diagnosed with BRE when she was 7. I believe she had it from 5 on. She wet the bed constantly and still does occasionally. She was quite down about it as her sister who is 2 1/2 younger never had this problem. It isn't as bad now, but it still happens. I use to wake her up at 11:00 pm and carry her into the bathroom and then do it again around 3:00 am. She was in such a sound sleep she didn't even remember. Now, it seems to have worked as she does wake up in the night to go to the bathroom. Don't worry -it will get better!