Episodic Neurologic Symptoms

  • Heber Varela
  • Selim R. Benbadis


Paroxysmal neurologic symptoms are common, and covering them extensively would almost amount to covering the entire field of neurology. Identifying their cause relies mostly on taking a good history. Despite advances in neuroimaging and adjunct diagnostic techniques, the clinical information remains the most important part of the diagnostic process. In particular, in regard to episodic neurologic symptoms, an accurate account of the time course is critical. How quickly symptoms develop or buildup, how long each “episode” lasts (seconds, minutes, hours), and how it resolves, for example, are very different among the entities described here. In short, while tests are briskly ordered, MRIs will never replace clinical judgment, and the importance of obtaining a good history cannot be overemphasized.

This chapter will cover the main and common cause of episodic neurologic symptoms. Based on the clinical presentation, we will divide entities into “global” symptoms and “focal” or localized symptoms.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Cluster Headache Migraine With Aura Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo Periodic Paralysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heber Varela
    • 1
  • Selim R. Benbadis
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of South Florida College of Medicine and James A. Haley Veterans Affairs Medical CenterTampaUSA

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