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Intern Med. 2011;50(11):1235-7. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Reading epilepsy as the initial symptom of idiopathic hypoparathyroidism.

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Department of Neurology, National Hospital Organization, Shiga Hospital, Japan.


Reading epilepsy is a rare form of reflex epilepsy that occurs exclusively during reading. In this report, we describe a patient in whom seizure was the initial symptom of idiopathic hypoparathyroidism. A 31-year-old man experienced seizures three times in different bookshops while browsing. Chvostek's sign was observed. Serum calcium and parathyroid hormone levels were decreased. Brain computed tomography revealed symmetrical calcification at the dentate nuclei of the cerebellum and the basal ganglia. The interictal electroencephalography was normal. There was no photoparoxysmal response. After amelioration of serum calcium level with oral administration of vitamin D, seizure attacks ceased without antiepileptic drugs. This case is, to our knowledge, the first report of reading epilepsy associated with hypocalcemia due to idiopathic hypoparathyroidism. The psychological stress of reading at bookshops without buying might have triggered seizures under CNS hyperexcitability due to hypocalcemia.

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