Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Kenneth R. PerrineEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1039


An aura is a paroxysmal episode that occurs before several types of neurologic events. It is a type of warning heralding the onset of the ictal event such as a migraine or an epileptic seizure. Auras usually last longer in migraines (up to minutes) than in seizures (typically several seconds). Episodes longer in duration or more remote from the ictus in both migraine and seizures are called prodromes. In epilepsy, this simple partial seizure (focal seizure with retained awareness/responsiveness)1 can lead to a complex partial seizure (focal seizure with altered/dyscognitive awareness/responsiveness), or a generalized tonic-clonic seizure(bilateral convulsive seizure). In both disorders, auras can represent any disruption of networks limited to one hemisphere, the specific phenomena of which arise from the localization of their onset in the brain. The term aura is attributed to the Roman physician Galen (130–200AD) who reportedly overheard a boy say just before a seizure...

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References and Readings

  1. Berg, A. T., Berkovic, S. F., Brodie, M. J., Buchhalter, J., Cross, J. H., van Emde, B. W., Engel, J., French, J., Glauser, T. A., Mathern, G. W., Moshe, S. L., Nordli, D., Plouin, P., & Scheffer, I. E. (2010). Revised terminology and concepts for organization of seizures and epilepsies: Report of the ILAE Commission on Classification and Terminology, 2005–2009. Epilepsia, 51(4), 676–685.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Haynes, S. D., & Bennett, T. L. (1992). Historical perspective and overview (p. 7). In T. L. Bennett (Ed.), The Neuropsychology of Epilepsy. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Wyllie, E. (Ed.). (2015). Wyllie’s treatment of epilepsy: Principles and practice (6th ed.). New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurological SurgeryWeill Cornell MedicineNew YorkUSA