An Issue in 2 Brain Areas Can Trigger Petit Mal Seizures
cerebral cortex and the thalamus
In August 2011, researchers working at the Stanford University School of Medicine have been able to identify a defect in the brain which triggers petit mal seizures (also known as absence seizures).
The researchers showed that if there is a problem or a defect in the communication between cerebral cortex and the thalamus (two parts of the brain) then there is a loss of consciousness and a brain state which looks very much like the petit mal seizure state. (The experiment was done on mice)
This discovery, although not revolutionary by itself, makes a great progress step towards understanding the true origins and workings of the seizures.