Abdominal epilepsy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


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Abdominal epilepsy describes a group of gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances caused by epileptiform seizure activity seen on EEG tracing. While a causal relationship has not been proven, the GI symptoms cannot be explained by other pathophyisological mechanisms, and are seen to improve upon anticonvulsant treatment.

The phenomenon seems to be very rare, with a total of 36 case reports published in the English medical literature during the last 35 years. Trousseau is commonly credited as the first to describe the condition in 1868 in a boy with paroxysmal GI symptoms culminating in grand mal epileptic seizures.

The first account of abdominal epilepsy supported by EEG tracings came in 1944 in an article by M.T. Moore, followed by several subsequent case reports from the same group.

Literature

  • M.T. Moore, "Paroxysmal abdominal pain: a form of focal symptomatic epilepsy", JAMA.1944 124 561-563
  • Zinkin,Peppercornet. al. "Abdominal epilepsy", Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2005 Apr;19(2):263-74.



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