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Brain. 1995 Jun;118 ( Pt 3):607-27.

Parietal lobe epilepsy. Clinical manifestations and outcome in 82 patients treated surgically between 1929 and 1988.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


We report the clinical manifestations and outcome of 82 patients with nontumoural parietal lobe epilepsy treated surgically at the Montreal Neurological Institute between 1929 and 1988. Patients with extensive resections extending outside the parietal lobe were excluded. Ninety-four percent exhibited aurae: the most common were somatosensory, described by 52 patients; 13 of these also described pain. Other aurae included disturbances of body image, visual illusions, vertiginous sensations and aphasia or dysphasia. A few patients exhibited complex visual or auditory hallucinations and elementary visual hallucinations. Intraoperative cortical stimulation reproduced the habitual aurae in 44 patients. Often the clinical manifestations indicated ictal spread to the frontal, supplementary motor area, or temporo-limbic areas: 28% of patients exhibited tonic posturing of the extremities, 57% unilateral clonic activity, 17% oral or gestural automatisms and 4% complex automatisms. Sixty-one percent of patients with tonic posturing had epileptogenic zones which included the superior parietal lobe, and in 79% of patients with automatisms the epileptogenic zones extended to the inferior parietal lobe, suggesting different spread patterns. Forty-three patients underwent right, and 39 left parietal corticectomies. Postoperative sensory deficits were seen only when the corticectomy extended into the post-central gyrus. Early in the series extensive nondominant inferior parietal resections led to disturbances of body image in a few patients. Follow-up ranging from 2 to 50 years was available for 79 patients. Sixty-five percent had a complete or nearly complete cessation of seizures. Those patients with no post-resection electrocorticographic epileptiform discharges had a more favourable outcome.

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