Vertigo pp 233-239 | Cite as

Vestibular epilepsy

  • Thomas Brandt


Vestibular epilepsy (vestibular seizures or auras) is a rare cortical vertigo syndrome secondary to focal epileptic discharges in either the temporal lobe or the parietal association cortex (Foerster 1936; Penfield and Jasper 1954; Schneider et al. 1968). Multiple areas of both receive bilateral vestibular projections from the ipsilateral thalamus. Results of electrical stimulation in humans have shown that the intraparietal sulcus (Foerster 1936) and the posterior part of the superior temporal gyrus (Penfield and Jasper 1954; Penfield 1957) form part of the vestibular cortex, as described in Chap. 13 (p. 219). Similarly experiments in monkeys have identified vestibular neuronal activity in the posterior caudal part of the postcentral gyrus (Fredrickson et al. 1966) and in the deep posterior insula (parieto-insular vestibular cortex, PIVC; Grüsser et al. 1990a,b). It is not yet known which of the different multisensory vestibular cortical areas (2v, 3aV, 6, 7, PIVC) is involved in vestibular epilepsy. If vestibular seizures arise from different areas, the sensorimotor symptomatology may differ as regards apparent rotation or tilt (Smith 1960), with or without associated eye, head and body deviation or epileptic nystagmus. Clinical data on the directions of apparent self-motion or surround-motion are mostly incomplete and imprecise. If the description is exact, as in rotatory seizures (“volvular epilepsy”), then the topographic localisation of the underlying pathology is too inexact to permit its allocation to known vestibular, areas.


Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Focal Epilepsy Endolymphatic Hydrops Cortical Blindness Caloric Irrigation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Brandt
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurologische Klinik, Klinikum GroßhadernLudwig-Maximillians-UniversitätMunichGermany

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