Genital automatisms in complex partial seizures

Universitätsklinik für Neurologie, Vienna, Austria.
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.29). 05/1999; 52(6):1188-91. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.52.6.1188
Source: PubMed


To determine which brain region is responsible for the generation of sexual automatisms.
Ninety consecutive patients with medically refractory focal epilepsy (74 with temporal lobe and 16 with frontal lobe epilepsy) referred to an epilepsy monitoring unit were studied. The occurrence of the following sexual automatisms was assessed during prolonged video-EEG monitoring: 1) repeatedly grabbing or fondling the genitals and 2) pelvic or truncal thrusting or similar movements.
Five patients repeatedly fondled or grabbed their genitals during or immediately after some of their seizures. All five had temporal lobe epilepsy, as evidenced from prolonged video-EEG monitoring, high-resolution MRI, and good to excellent outcome after epilepsy surgery. Sexual automatisms did not occur with frontal lobe epilepsy.
Sexual automatisms cannot be related exclusively to frontal lobe seizures. As previously proposed, apparently sexual hypermotoric pelvic or truncal movements are common in frontal lobe seizures, but this study suggests that discrete genital automatisms, like fondling and grabbing the genitals, are more common in seizures evolving from the temporal lobe.

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    • "Dorsal ACC is one of the regions involved in the bioregulation [63], the respiration [64] and the autonomic arousal states [65]. Moreover, epileptic seizures observed in the ACC, are accompanied by genital automatisms [66]. According to Abler and colleagues (2011), sexual dysfunction has been related to decreased activation in BA 24/32 [67]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Psychogenic erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as a male sexual dysfunction characterized by a persistent or recurrent inability to attain adequate penile erection due predominantly or exclusively to psychological or interpersonal factors. Previous fMRI studies were based on the common occurrence in the male sexual behaviour represented by the sexual arousal and penile erection related to viewing of erotic movies. However, there is no experimental evidence of altered brain networks in psychogenic ED patients (EDp). Some studies showed that fMRI activity collected during non sexual movie viewing can be analyzed in a reliable manner with independent component analysis (ICA) and that the resulting brain networks are consistent with previous resting state neuroimaging studies. In the present study, we investigated the modification of the brain networks in EDp compared to healthy controls (HC), using whole-brain fMRI during free viewing of an erotic video clip. Sixteen EDp and nineteen HC were recruited after RigiScan evaluation, psychiatric, and general medical evaluations. The performed ICA showed that visual network (VN), default-mode network (DMN), fronto-parietal network (FPN) and salience network (SN) were spatially consistent across EDp and HC. However, between-group differences in functional connectivity were observed in the DMN and in the SN. In the DMN, EDp showed decreased connectivity values in the inferior parietal lobes, posterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex, whereas in the SN decreased and increased connectivity was observed in the right insula and in the anterior cingulate cortex respectively. The decreased levels of intrinsic functional connectivity principally involved the subsystem of DMN relevant for the self relevant mental simulation that concerns remembering of past experiences, thinking to the future and conceiving the viewpoint of the other's actions. Moreover, the between group differences in the SN nodes suggested a decreased recognition of autonomical and sexual arousal changes in EDp.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e105336. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0105336 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "For instance, temporal lobe epilepsy may induce orgasmic auras (Janszky et al., 2004; Fadul et al., 2005), while temporal lobe resection aimed to resolve the epileptic seizures frequently causes hypersexuality (Baird et al., 2002). Frontal lobe deficiency is also linked to increased sexual behaviour (Aloni & Katz, 1999), including hyperactive pelvic thrusting as a result of frontal lobe epilepsy (Leutmezer et al., 1999). In men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED), administration of apomorphine resolved the ED and, most importantly, caused a down-regulation of activity in frontal and temporal lobes (Montorsi et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is a severe lack of knowledge regarding the brain regions involved in human sexual performance in general, and female orgasm in particular. We used [15O]-H2O positron emission tomography to measure regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in 12 healthy women during a nonsexual resting state, clitorally induced orgasm, sexual clitoral stimulation (sexual arousal control) and imitation of orgasm (motor output control). Extracerebral markers of sexual performance and orgasm were rectal pressure variability (RPstd) and perceived level of sexual arousal (PSA). Sexual stimulation of the clitoris (compared to rest) significantly increased rCBF in the left secondary and right dorsal primary somatosensory cortex, providing the first account of neocortical processing of sexual clitoral information. In contrast, orgasm was mainly associated with profound rCBF decreases in the neocortex when compared with the control conditions (clitoral stimulation and imitation of orgasm), particularly in the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex, inferior temporal gyrus and anterior temporal pole. Significant positive correlations were found between RPstd and rCBF in the left deep cerebellar nuclei, and between PSA and rCBF in the ventral midbrain and right caudate nucleus. We propose that decreased blood flow in the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex signifies behavioural disinhibition during orgasm in women, and that deactivation of the temporal lobe is directly related to high sexual arousal. In addition, the deep cerebellar nuclei may be involved in orgasm-specific muscle contractions while the involvement of the ventral midbrain and right caudate nucleus suggests a role for dopamine in female sexual arousal and orgasm.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 01/2007; 24(11):3305-16. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2006.05206.x · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genital automatisms (GAs) are rare clinical phenomena during or after epileptic seizures. They are defined as repeated fondling, grabbing, or scratching of the genitals. The anatomic correlates of GAs have been discussed controversially. The aim of this investigation was to assess the localizing and lateralizing value of GAs. The authors studied 207 consecutive patients with intractable seizures referred to a University Hospital for presurgical evaluation between 1998 and 2002: 135 had temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE); 23, frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE); 29, generalized epilepsies (GEs); and 20 had extratemporal or multifocal epilepsy. Twenty-three (11%) of 207 patients showed GAs in 42 (3%) of 1,299 seizures. GAs occurred significantly more often in men (17 of 93, 18%) than in women (six of 114, 5%; p = 0.0037). Twenty-one (16%) of 135 patients with TLE performed GAs, one (4%) of 23 with FLE and one (3%) of 29 with GE. GAs were associated with unilateral hand automatisms in 16 (70%) of 23 and with periictal urinary urge in five (22%) of 23. All patients had amnesia for the performance of GAs. GAs appear in the ictal or postictal period with impaired consciousness. Men exhibit GAs significantly more often than do women. GAs do not localize or lateralize per se, but may localize seizure onset in the presence of periictal urinary urge or unilateral hand automatisms. They show a tendency to occur more often in TLE.
    Epilepsia 08/2004; 45(7):777-80. DOI:10.1111/j.0013-9580.2004.44003.x · 4.57 Impact Factor
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