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The purpose of this study is to define metabolic correlates of generalized spike-wave discharges in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. We investigated the alterations in glucose metabolism and possible correlations between the interictal epileptiform discharges and regional metabolism in patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy using a combined positron emission tomography/electroencephalography method. We found that the thalamic metabolism is slightly increased interictally in the patient group compared with controls. We also observed significant positive correlations between the amount of spike-wave activity and thalamic metabolism. Our results provide evidence that the thalamus has an important role in the generation of spontaneous generalized spike-wave discharges in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.