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October 1966

Ictal Phenomena During REM Sleep of a Temporal Lobe Epileptic

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans.

Arch Neurol. 1966;15(4):367-375. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470160033005

EPSTEIN1 described several modes of relationship existing between recurrent dreams and seizures in temporal lobe epileptics and suggested that such recurrent dreams are manifestations of cerebral pathophysiology. It would, therefore, be of value to investigate electroencephalographic patterns and dream content, during the dreaming sleep of certain temporal lobe epileptics. The work of Aserinsky and Kleitman2 and Dement and Kleitman3 permits such an investigation by providing objective criteria of dream sleep: a low voltage relatively fast EEG pattern associated with rapid conjugate eye movements (REM sleep).

Accordingly, the EEG and dream content of a patient with temporal lobe epilepsy and recurrent dreams were studied through two eight-hour sleep periods. The EEG findings in this patient were remarkable in that almost all dream periods were preceded by volleys of unilateral temporal spikes which then persisted in a characteristic rhythmic fashion through the dream (REM) period itself. Further, the

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