AUTOMATISMS have long attracted the neurologist's attention, but their occurrence has become too widely regarded as a pathognomonic sign of temporal lobe epilepsy. Since Penfield1 reported the production of automatisms by stimulating gray matter of mesial temporal lobe adjacent to the insula, many neurologists have inferred that an automatism is synonymous with a discrete discharging focus in the temporal lobe. The designation of "temporal lobe automatisms" used by investigators2 in describing clinical neurophysiologic studies has led to the general assumption that automatisms occurring in temporal lobe epilepsy have specific characteristics which set them apart from other automatisms.3 This notion evolved in spite of well documented descriptions of automatisms in association with the absence attacks of petit mal epilepsy; indeed "absence with automatisms" is an integral part of the nonfocal section of the international classification.4
This study was conducted to determine the nature of automatisms which occur
Penry JK, Dreifuss FE. Automatisms Associated With the Absence of Petit Mal Epilepsy. Arch Neurol. 1969;21(2):142–149. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480140042004
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: