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Interhemispheric differences in photosensitive epilepsy. I. Pattern sensitivity thresholds.


A group of 15 volunteers with both photosensitive epilepsy and pattern sensitivity were shown patterns of stripes in the left and right visual hemifields. In the majority of patients the resulting paroxysmal epileptiform EEG activity was maximal in the posterior temporal and occipital regions contralateral to the stimulus. Patterns in the upper and lower hemifields were also presented and in two patients there was a difference in the vertical distribution of the response such as to suggest that in these patients the discharges were largely confined to the striate and prestriate cortex. The probability with which paroxysmal activity was evoked was usually different for the two lateral hemifields. This difference between the hemifields (which was dramatic in some patients) was mirrored in a lateralisation of the responses to diffuse intermittent photic stimulation. The association between the asymmetries in pattern sensitivity and in the responses to photic stimulation suggests that the two cerebral hemispheres often differed in hyperexcitability. It is therefore interesting that the putative differences in hyperexcitability were observed in patients with primary generalised epilepsy as well as those with other types.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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