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The theory has long been held that the disordered wave of nerve impulses resulting in an epileptic seizure with loss of consciousness usually begins at one focal point and then spreads widely to other parts of the neopallial portion of the brain. When the spread is local, only local manifestations are experienced, such as flashes of light, hallucinations of sound, movement of muscles characterizing a "jacksonian attack," sensations of taste or smell and sensory changes, such as tingling and paresthesias. In instances in which the disordered spread of impulses is still wider, consciousness may be lost, tonic and clonic movements of both sides of the body may take place, sphincter control may be lost and various vasomotor changes be experienced and observed. As a rule, consciousness is not lost when the spread of the epileptic wave is not great or when it is limited to one cerebral cortex.
VAN WAGENEN WP, HERREN RY. SURGICAL DIVISION OF COMMISSURAL PATHWAYS IN THE CORPUS CALLOSUM: RELATION TO SPREAD OF AN EPILEPTIC ATTACK. Arch NeurPsych. 1940;44(4):740–759. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1940.02280100042004
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