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Neuroscience. 2010 Apr 28;167(1):88-96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.01.050. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Persistent genital arousal disorder associated with functional hyperconnectivity of an epileptic focus.

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1
Department of Oncology and Neuroscience, Aging Research Centre, CeSI, G. d'Annunzio University Foundation, G. d'Annunzio University, Chieti, Italy.

Abstract

Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD) refers to the experience of persistent sensations of genital arousal that are felt to be unprovoked, intrusive and unrelieved by one or several orgasms. It is often mistaken for hypersexuality since PGAD often results in a high frequency of sexual behaviour. At present little is known with certainty about the etiology of this condition. We described a woman with typical PGAD symptoms and orgasmic seizures that we found to be related to a specific epileptic focus. We performed a EEG/MEG and fMRI spontaneous activity study during genital arousal symptoms and after the chronic administration of 300 mg/day of topiramate. From MEG data an epileptic focus was localized in the left posterior insular gyrus (LPIG). FMRI data evidenced that sexual excitation symptoms with PGAD could be correlated with an increased functional connectivity (FC) between different brain areas: LPIG (epileptic focus), left middle frontal gyrus, left inferior and superior temporal gyrus and left inferior parietal lobe. The reduction of the FC observed after antiepileptic therapy was more marked in the left than in the right hemisphere in agreement with the lateralization identified by MEG results. Treatment completely abolished PGAD symptoms and functional hyperconnectivity. The functional hyperconnectivity found in the neuronal network including the epileptic focus could suggest a possible central mechanism for PGAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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