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Epilepsia. 1996;37 Suppl 3:57-60.

Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: clinical features and seizure mechanism.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital, Japan.


To study the clinical features of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, 24 cases were selected based on two criteria: (a) the origin of seizure was localized to the mesiotemporal region on phase 2 monitoring, and (b) a class 1 or 2 postoperative result was obtained after selective mesiotemporal resection. A history of febrile convulsion, particularly in the form of status epilepticus, seems to be a prognostic factor. As for presurgical evaluation, electroencephalography (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and ictal single-photon emission-computed tomography (SPECT) are important tests. Recording of spontaneous seizures by means of intracranial electrodes is the most reliable for diagnosis. Ammon's horn sclerosis and mesial temporal sclerosis are the most frequent pathologic findings. The seizure mechanism was studied by means of depth EEG recordings and ictal SPECT. The hippocampal formation is more responsible than the amygdala for the origin of seizures. Preferential pathways for seizure spread may be the fornix and stria terminalis, amygdalofugal fibers, and uncinate fasciculus. The concept of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy is valid for selecting medically refractory but surgically remediable patients for surgical treatment.

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