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February 1966

The Epileptogenic Focus in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy From a Pathological Standpoint

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Neuropathology, Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute (California Department of Mental Hygiene), 401 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco.

Arch Neurol. 1966;14(2):190-195. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470080074011

HUGHLINGS JACKSON1 in 1888 described under the term "uncinate group of fits" a type of focal convulsions which in recent years has come to be known as psychomotor or temporal lobe epilepsy. Lennox2 characterized this type of seizure by one or another of a triad of symptoms, ie, motor phenomena, automatisms, and subjective psychic states. The pathology of this form of epilepsy developed historically along two main lines of investigation that, at first, seemed unrelated but in recent years have tended to converge.

The first line of investigation followed from the discovery in 1889 by Jackson and Beevor.3 In a patient suffering from uncinate fits, the discovery was made of a tumor situated "in the extreme anterior end of the right temporo-sphenoidal lobe, especially in the front of the uncus containing the nucleus amygdalae." Later, Jackson was careful to note that the discharging lesions of uncinate

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