- hallucinatory epilepsy
- A term used to denote a focal type of epilepsy presenting in the form of a brief, paroxysmal, stereotyped, and irresistible hallucinatory state.This state tends to take the form of a * complex or * compound hallucination lasting some 10-30s and recurring at indefinite intervals, each episode constituting either an exact replica of or - in the case of a progressive lesion - a variation on the previous one (known as a * stable hallucination). Additional symptoms of hallucinatory epilepsy include * somatosensory hallucinations such as sweating, blushing, borborygmi, and abdominal discomfort. In conformity with the late 19th-century concept of uncinate epilepsy, oral and/or nasal activity can occur as well (including sniffing, smelling, and smacking of the lips). In some cases, each hallucinatory episode is followed by a transient partial impairment of cerebral function or even a tonic-clonic seizure. In the case of multiple epileptic foci, different attacks may occur, but again each individual attack is presumed to be stereotypical in nature. Today the concept of hallucinatory epilepsy has been assimilated by the major category of * aura as defined by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). This category should not be confused with the classic notion of aura (in the sense of a prelude to an epileptic seizure or a migraine attack). For a comparison of the two connotations, see the entries Epilepsy and hallucinations, and Aura.ReferencesMulder, D.W., Bickford, R.G., Dodge, H.W. (1957). Hallucinatory epilepsy: Complex hallucinations as focal seizures. American Journal of Psychiatry, 113, 1100-1102.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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