Pathophysiology of Reflex Epileptic Seizures

  • Benjamin G. Zifkin
Reference work entry

Introduction and Definitions

Reflex epileptic seizures have been known since classical antiquity. Sensitivity to flashing light was described before the development of the EEG and was studied in the 1940s and 1950s when both the EEG and the stroboscopic stimulator became available, but interest in reflex seizures then waned. With the spread of television and then video screen games throughout the world, it became obvious that seizures could be triggered by these displays, and there was a renewal of interest, notably in Europe and in Japan because the 50 Hz screen flicker and 25 Hz pattern of alternating interleaved lines were more effective seizure triggers than their North American counterparts. The current proposal to define reflex epilepsy syndromes and reflex seizures (Engel 2001) restricts reflex epilepsy syndromes to those “… in which all epileptic seizures are precipitated by sensory stimuli. Reflex seizures that occur in focal and generalized epilepsy syndromes that are also...


Generalize Epilepsy Epilepsy Syndrome Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy Idiopathic Generalize Epilepsy Afferent Stimulus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin G. Zifkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Epilepsy ClinicMontréal Neurological HospitalMontréalCanada

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