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January 1967

Language-Induced Epilepsy

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service, Veterans Administration Hospital; the Department of Neurology, Boston University; and the Boston University Aphasia Research Center, Boston.

Arch Neurol. 1967;16(1):25-31. doi:10.1001/archneur.1967.00470190029003

THE SO-CALLED reflex epilepsies, ie, those in which the seizures can be precipitated by highly specific stimuli, continue to be of great interest to the neurologist. In discussing this form of epilepsy, we restrict the term "reflex" to those instances in which a highly patterned stimulus regularly leads to a seizure by effects transmitted over nervous pathways. By contrast, in all other forms of epilepsy the seizure-provoking agent is presumed to be a local metabolic change within the focus itself or a change in some blood-borne substance capable of influencing the focus. The ready identification and, to some extent, possible manipulation of the specific stimulus hold forth the possibility of greater insights into the mechanisms of the epileptic process. In those instances where specific language stimuli appear to be the triggering mechanisms, the possibility of further understanding of the neurophysiology subsuming language itself makes a thorough investigation of

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