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February 17, 1962

Musicogenic Epilepsy

Author Affiliations

Melbourne; Iowa City

From the Department of Neurology, State University of Iowa College of Medicine. Dr. Green is now at the Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York City.

JAMA. 1962;179(7):501-504. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050070023005

A woman aged 62 gave a history of convulsions since the age of 49. Her associates reported peculiar patterns of behavior induced in her by music, and she was aware of periods of unconsciousness induced by organ music. The electroencephalogram showed various abnormalities including basic generalized fast activity, right temporal sharp activity, and slow activity spreading over the temporal areas. In addition to the resting EEG, records were obtained during hyperventilation and during photic and acoustic stimulation. Her physical condition was normal excepting an underlying severe adrenocortical insufficiency (with brownish pigmentation of the skin) and some clumsiness of the left lower extremity.