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J Neurosurg. 1993 Aug;79(2):266-9.

Surgical treatment of partial epilepsy arising from the insular cortex. Report of two cases.

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Epilepsy and Brain Mapping Center, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.


Despite its documented connections with many limbic structures, the role of the insula in the etiology of partial seizures is poorly understood. Two patients are described in whom lesions of the insula were associated with intractable partial seizures. In the first patient, the seizures involved visceral sensory hallucinations followed by motor automatism. Seizures in the second patient began with somatic sensory hallucinations and then produced visceral motor effects. Both patients were found to have low-grade astrocytomas of the insula. In both instances, resection of the lesion and adjacent insular cortex resulted in a cure of the seizures. These cases are placed within the context of the existing literature on the subject.

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