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Brief Communications
December 1983

Repeated Self-induced Syncope and Subsequent Seizures: A Case Report

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Department, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City.

Arch Neurol. 1983;40(13):820-823. doi:10.1001/archneur.1983.04050120070012

• A patient with an unusual "compulsion" to induce syncope over a period of years by bilateral compression of the carotid arteries subsequently had recurrent seizures. The EEG showed patterns typical of cerebral ischemia during the syncope and epileptogenic foci in both temporal lobes after sleep deprivation. It is difficult to distinguish between seizure and syncope associated with involuntary movements when making a differential diagnosis. We hypothesize that the frequent self-induced ischemic insult to the brain caused a cicatrix to develop, which in turn caused the frequent seizure disorder; and that because this ischemia functioned as a stimulus to the reward site in the limbic system, the patient repeatedly induced it.

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