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Epilepsy Res. 2017 Aug;134:63-71. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2017.02.013.

Hypercognitive seizures - Proposal of a new term for the phenomenon forced thinking in epilepsy.

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Department for Clinical Neurophysiology, University Medical Center Goettingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Goettingen, Germany. Electronic address:
Department of Neurology, George Washington University, 2150 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC 20037, USA.


Here we propose the term hypercognitive seizures as a descriptor for seizures that manifest as a transient mental experience of intrusive thoughts or words that do not consist mainly of reminiscence. Currently, the term forced thinking is used to describe this uncommon seizure semiology, which has also been elicited by electrical brain stimulation. The available literature on forced thinking shows discordant interpretations of its meaning, justifying the suggestion of a new descriptor. In this paper, we would like to suggest and explain the term hypercognitive seizure and argue that this type of seizure lateralizes to the dominant hemisphere.


Forced thinking; Frontal lobe; Hypercognitive seizures; Semiology; Terminology

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