Seizures and Epilepsy: Reading Reflex

Posted on
May 17, 2024
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Seizures and Epilepsy: Reading Reflex

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Reflex epilepsies are characterized by the presence of reflex seizures and the absence of spontaneous seizures. Reflex seizures may occur in epilepsies of varied etiologies (e.g. in structural brain abnormality and in genetic/idiopathic generalized epilepsies), however these are not categorized as reflex epilepsies as spontaneous seizures occur in addition to reflex seizures.

A reflex (stimulus-sensitive or sensory-evoked) seizure is a seizure that is constantly elicited by a specific stimulus, which may be an afferent sensory stimulus, or an activity performed by the patient.

Sensory stimuli (light flashes, patterns, elimination of visual fixation, elimination of light, tactile, hot water, startle, or a monotone) or more complex (eating, tooth-brushing, music or singing).

A stimulus activity may be a movement or more complex (reading, playing chess, calculating, thinking).

Reading epilepsy is characterized by seizures that start between 12 and 19 years of age. There is a male predominance. Seizures are elicited by reading (aloud or silently). The prognosis is good as seizures are usually minor and can be avoided through reducing exposure to the stimulus.

What is a common clinical presentation of a patient with reading reflex epilepsy at the onset of a seizure?