Epileptic Disorders


A child with ictal vocalizations and generalized epilepsy Volume 17, issue 1, March 2015


  • A child with ictal vocalizations and generalized epilepsy


  • Figure 1

  • Figure 2
1 Pediatric Neurology
2 Neurology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
* Correspondence: Mary Kurian Pediatric Neurology, University Hospital, 6 Rue Willy Donze, CH 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

Ictal vocalizations in the form of both articulate speech and non-speech vocalizations have been described in focal epilepsies, with seizures originating mainly from the frontal and temporal lobe, however, this phenomenon has not been described in generalized epilepsies. We report the case of an adolescent boy with juvenile-onset generalized epilepsy who presented with ictal “ovine vocalizations” (resembling the bleating of sheep). The ictal EEG revealed a clear correlate of vocalizations with time-locked generalized spikes and polyspike discharges. The 3T cerebral MRI ruled out any focal lesion. The boy is currently seizure-free under valproic acid, after twelve months of follow-up. We conclude that ictal non-speech vocalizations may be observed not only in focal or structural epilepsies, but also in generalized epilepsies; the exact underlying mechanism of this phenomenon needs to be further delineated. [Published with video sequence]