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Neurology. 2013 Sep 24;81(13):e100. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a55fcb.

Teaching video neuroimages: reading epilepsy: a seizure in a thousand words (or less).

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  • 1From the Department of Neurology (J.K.G.) and Division of Child and Adolescent Neurology (E.M.B.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.


A 14-year-old right-handed boy developed spells of lip twitching only while reading. With prolonged reading, he occasionally experienced loss of awareness and limb jerking (figure and video on the Neurology® Web site at Reading epilepsy is a rare form of reflex seizure in which reading (silently or aloud) may trigger orofacial myoclonus, stammering, aphasia, or generalized convulsions. Onset is typically in early adulthood, with 2:1 male predominance. It occurs in isolation or autosomal dominant fashion.(1) Previous reports suggest efficacy of clonazepam, valproate, or levetiracetam.(2) Our patient did not tolerate levetiracetam but remains seizure-free on oxcarbazepine. Reading epilepsy should be recognized and promptly treated to avoid unnecessary academic struggles.

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