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August 1968

Generalized Spike and Wave Discharges and Nonspecific Thalamic Nuclei: A Stereotaxic Analysis

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Department Medicine/Neurology (Dr. Walter) and Surgery/Neurosurgery (Dr. Crandall), UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles. Dr. Rossi is visiting professor from the Neurosurgical Clinic, University of Genova, Italy.

Arch Neurol. 1968;19(2):174-183. doi:10.1001/archneur.1968.00480020060006

INTERPRETATION of the neural mechanisms underlying generalized epilepsy that is characterized by bilateral and apparently synchronous spike and wave complexes, is a frequently debated point in the study of epilepsy. One of the main issues is that of the role played by subtelencephalic structures in these mechanisms. Some of the anatomic and physiologic properties of the nonspecific thalamic nuclei have suggested that the diencephalic structures may be important in this type of convulsive disorder.1 The hypothesis has also been made that brain structures located at the subtelencephalic level not only may contribute to the generalization of an epileptic discharge originating elsewhere in the brain but may be the focal site of the initiation of this process.2,3 (The term epileptic discharge is used throughout our paper to denote a phenomenon, epileptic in nature, but not necessarily accompanied by an overt clinical seizure.) Several experimental findings indicate that these

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