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Reading epilepsy in a patient with previous idiopathic focal epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes

M P Valenti, P Tinuper, A Cerullo, R Carcangiu, C Marini
Epileptic Disorders: International Epilepsy Journal with Videotape 1999, 1 (3): 167-71

RATIONALE: Reading epilepsy (RE) is a form of reflex epilepsy currently classified as an idiopathic localization-related epilepsy (ILAE, 1989).

METHODS: We describe a 30 year-old right-handed male who suffered since the age of 8 from nocturnal partial motor seizures. Clinical features were typical of BECT. We reviewed the EEG recorded at that time which showed centrotemporal spike and waves. He was seizure-free from the age of 12 to the age of 17 when seizures evoked only by reading appeared. No other stimuli provoked seizures. Neurological and neuroradiological (CT and MR) investigations were normal. Baseline video-polygraphic EEG recordings were normal while reading aloud provoked myoclonic jerks in the facial muscles related to bilateral spike and wave discharges. Therapy with carbamazepine and valproic acid strongly reduced seizure frequency.

CONCLUSION: Recent papers have debated the difficulties in classifying RE among the generalized or focal syndromes. Literature reports describe an association with RE and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, supporting the hypothesis of an idiopathic generalized form. We report the first documented case with a clear-cut idiopathic localization-related epilepsy evolving to a primary reading epilepsy.

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