Painful Seizures: a Review of Epileptic Ictal Pain
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Purpose of Review
To summarize the literature regarding the prevalence, pathophysiology, and anatomic networks involved with painful seizures, which are a rare but striking clinical presentation of epilepsy.
Several recent large case series have explored the prevalence of the main cephalgic, somatosensory, and abdominal variants of this rare disorder. Research studies including the use of electrical stimulation and functional neuroimaging have demonstrated the networks underlying painful somatosensory or visceral seizures. Improved understanding of some of the overlapping mechanisms between migraines and seizures has elucidated their common pathophysiology.
The current literature reflects a widening range of awareness and understanding of painful seizures, despite their rarity.
KeywordsIctal Pain Somatosensory Abdominal Headache Seizure
Compliance with Ethics Guidelines
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 6.•• (2018) Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS) The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition. Cephalalgia 38:1–211. The culmination of the efforts of several authors referenced in this publication to improve recognition of headaches related to seizures.Google Scholar
- 27.•• Montavont A, Mauguière F, Mazzola L, Garcia-Larrea L, Catenoix H, Ryvlin P, et al. On the origin of painful somatosensory seizures. Neurology. 2015;84:594–601 A group with robust experience with operculo-insular cases and SEEG, making a compelling argument for the localization of ictal pain.CrossRefGoogle Scholar