Electrode manipulation automatism during temporal lobe seizures

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: To describe clinical characteristics and lateralizing value of peri-ictal electrode manipulation automatism (EMA) in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and compare our data with ictal manual automatisms described in the literature. Methods: Two-hundred and five videotaped seizures of 55 consecutive patients with refractory TLE and postoperatively seizure-free outcome were analyzed and EMA (tugging, scratching or adjusting the electrodes and cables) were monitored. Results: Twenty-eight (51%) patients showed EMA during 47 (23%) seizures. Ictal start was noted in 22 seizures and in 19/22 cases EMA finished before the end of seizure. Ictal EMAs were always associated with automotor seizure components. During 25 seizures, exclusively postictal EMAs were observed. Electrode manipulation was presented during 24/112 left-sided and 23/93 right-sided seizures (p = 0.742). Peri-ictal EMA was unilateral (completed by one hand) in 24/47 seizures (10 ictal, 14 postictal); it was done by the hand ipsilateral to the seizure onset zone in 17/24 and by contralateral hand in 7/24 cases (p = 0.064). We observed concomitant contralateral dystonic posturing during 3/10 seizures with unilateral ictal EMA. Unilateral hand automatism, temporally independent from the EMA appeared in 30 (64%) of the 47 seizures. Conclusion: Peri-ictal EMA is a frequent phenomenon but shows no lateralizing value in TLE. The mechanism of EMA is in many ways dissimilar from that of earlier described manual automatisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-419
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Consciousness
  • Electrode manipulation
  • Lateralizing sign
  • Manual automatism
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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