Eating seizures and emotional facial paresis: evidence suggesting the amygdala is a common anatomophysiological substratum.

Neurology Department, Hospital São João, Porto, Portugal.
Epilepsy & Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.06). 04/2005; 6(2):266-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2004.11.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The medial basotemporal lobes (hippocampus, amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus) are considered to be parts of the system responsible for nonvolitional facial movements. In patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, lower facial weakness during emotional expression has been found to occur almost exclusively contralateral to the temporal lobe with the epileptogenic focus. Repetitive and chronic stimulation of the amygdala during eating has also been postulated as a probable mechanism for eating seizures. The authors present the illustrative aspects of both facial asymmetry and eating seizures in a case of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). This report provides evidence that the amygdala may be the common anatomical basis for three different aspects of this patient: emotional facial paresis, eating seizures, and sleep paroxysmal microarousals.

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