Parietal and Occipital Lobe Epilepsy: A Review

  • Sveinbjornsdottir S
  • Duncan J
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There has been considerable recent interest in frontal lobe epileptic syndromes, and less attention paid to occipital and parietal epilepsies. The occipital and parietal lobes have arbitrary anatomical borders. The prinicpal seizure symptomatology includes somatosensory (paresthetic, painful, thermal, sexual, apraxia, disturbances of body image); visual (amaurotic, elementary and complex hallucinations, illusions) and other phenomena (anosognosia, apraxia, acalculia, alexia, aphemia, confusional states, gustatory, vertiginous, adversive, oculoclonic and eyelid flutter). The seizure symptoms are of varying localizing and lateralizing value and seizure discharges may spread rapidly and perceived symptoms may reflect secondary spread rather than the primary site of seizure onset. Recognized parietal and occipital epilepsy syndromes include benign epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes, benign epilepsy of childhood with parietal evoked spikes, benign occipital epilepsy of childhood, migraine/epilepsy syndromes, and epilepsy with bilateral occipital calcification. In addition, occipital and parietal epilepsy may be on the basis of any underlying structural lesion. There is frequently a poor correlation between clinical and EEG features. MRI and functional imaging often reveals underlying pathology. There have been no specific trials of different antiepileptic drugs for occipital and parietal seizures. Surgical treatment has its place, with attention to the risk of causing a fixed neurological deficit.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Diagnostic criteria
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy
  • Occipital lobe
  • Parietal lobe

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  • S. Sveinbjornsdottir

  • J. S. Duncan

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