Epileptic Disorders


Symptomatic epilepsy with facial myoclonus triggered by language Volume 3, issue 3, September 2001


  • Symptomatic epilepsy with facial myoclonic seizures triggered by language


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Centro Regionale Epilessia, A.O. San Paolo, Via A. di Rudinì,8, 20142 Milan, Italy.

We report on a patient with a left frontal lesion who, many years after an injury, developed non-fluent aphasia and facial myoclonic jerks triggered by speaking and listening to spoken language. At age 57, the patient first noted that he would begin to stutter when delivering lectures at conferences. The stuttering would worsen if he continued talking. The video-polygraphic EEG recording shows brief paroxysms of spikes and polyspikes, followed by a slow wave, more evident in the left fronto-temporal region. The myoclonic jerks originating from the submental area correlate with EEG abnormalities. Clinically, these jerks determined a form of stuttering. The triggering factors were reading, speaking and listening to spoken language. This case had several characteristic features: facial myoclonus was the only seizure type experienced by the patient; the seizures and language impairment had a very late onset ­ about 50 years after the traumatic event that produced a dramatic lesion in the left fronto-polar region. (Published with videosequences.)