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June 1962

Reading Epilepsy

Arch Neurol. 1962;6(6):492-495. doi:10.1001/archneur.1962.00450240070008

Introduction  The precipitation of major motor seizures by a specific sensory stimulus is an interesting phenomenon. It might be expected that careful study of such cases would lead to an increase in knowledge of the causation of seizures in general. Examples of seizure precipitation by touch, pain, smell, noise, and music have been recorded throughout the history of epilepsy. Reading, as a specific stimulus for the precipitation of seizures, must be rather rare, since only 20 cases could be found in the literature.1-7 The first case was reported by Bickford1 in 1956. In the past 2 years, I have encountered 3 cases (with a probable fourth) in which seizures occurred only during a period of sustained reading.

Report of Four Cases  Case 1.—A 27-year-old housewife reported that at age 15 she first began to notice involuntary movements of the jaw while she was reading. These movements were described

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