- ictal blindness and hallucinations
- The term ictal blindness is indebted to the Latin noun ictus, which means blow or thrust. In neurology the term ictus denotes a paroxysmal epileptic seizure. The term ictal blindness refers to a rare amaurotic state occurring in the context of epileptic seizures affecting the occipital lobe. It may present in a variety offorms, including homonymous *hemianopia and tunnel vision. When both occipital lobes are involved, ictal blindness may present as complete * blindness. Ictal blindness may last for hours to days (in the latter case referred to as a status epilepti-cus amauroticus), and it is generally amenable to anti-convulsant treatment. The pathophysiology of ictal blindness is associated primarily with the active inhibition of cortical visual processing at some level of the visual pathways. Etiologically, the epileptic seizures underlying ictal blindness are associated primarily with vascular lesions, metastatic lesions, and idiopathic epilepsy. Like other types of blindness, ictal blindness can be complicated by * visual hallucinations reminiscent of * Charles Bonnet syndrome.ReferencesBarry, E., Sussman, N.M., Bosley, T.M., Harner, R.N. (1985). Ictal blindness and status epilepticus amauroticus. Epilepsia, 26, 577-584.Wilkinson, F. (2004). Auras and other hallucinations: Windows on the visual brain. Progress in Brain Research, 144, 305-320.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.