Hungarian multicentre epidemiologic study of the warning and initial symptoms (prodrome, aura) of epileptic seizures

P. Rajna, B. Clemens, E. Csibri, E. Dobos, A. Geregely, M. Gottschal, I. György, Á Horváth, F. Horváth, L. Mezöfi, I. Velkey, J. Veres, E. Wagner

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We carried out a Hungarian multicentre study to assess the frequency of the occurrence of warning symptoms preceding epileptic seizure. The data of 562 patients with epilepsy out of a total of 1124 were analysed on the basis of questionnaires filled in under standard conditions. About 50% of the patients experienced warning symptoms before a smaller or greater part of their seizures. Their appearance was fairly consistent and became mainly manifested in the form of headache, epigastric sensation and dysphoria. In relation to epileptological basic data, it was found that warning symptoms appeared primarily in focal epilepsies and among them they mainly preceded generalized tonic clonic and complex partial seizures. Between the warning symptom and the onset of the seizure there was usually a longer interval during which (and generally also during the warning symptom) the patient remained able to act. About 20% of the patients enrolled in the study tried to inhibit the onset or mitigate the course of the seizure and about 10% judged their spontaneous activity carried out in that direction to be successful. The frequency of the occurrence of independent prognostic symptoms not followed by a seizure was relatively low, and among epileptics with warning symptoms the incidence of seizures occurring without a preceding event was not high either. Based on our experiences, we have drawn the conclusion that, in a significant part of epileptic patients, the warning symptoms render possible the supplementation of the therapy by the development of seizure-inhibiting or seizure-avoiding behaviour or activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-368
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997



  • Aura
  • Epilepsy
  • Prodrome
  • Questionnaire
  • Seizure inhibiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Rajna, P., Clemens, B., Csibri, E., Dobos, E., Geregely, A., Gottschal, M., György, I., Horváth, Á., Horváth, F., Mezöfi, L., Velkey, I., Veres, J., & Wagner, E. (1997). Hungarian multicentre epidemiologic study of the warning and initial symptoms (prodrome, aura) of epileptic seizures. Seizure, 6(5), 361-368.