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October 1984

Seizures Induced by Singing and Recitation: A Unique Form of Reflex Epilepsy in Childhood

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine and the Pediatrie Neurology Service, Boston City Hospital (Drs Herskowitz and Rosman), and the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School (Dr Geschwind) and the Neurological Unit, Beth Israel Hospital (Dr Geschwind), Boston.

Arch Neurol. 1984;41(10):1102-1103. doi:10.1001/archneur.1984.04050210104026

• A 2-year-old boy of above-average intelligence experienced seizures, manifested by ticlike turning movements of the head, which were induced consistently by his own singing — not by listening to or imagining music. His seizures were also induced by his recitation and by his use of silly or witty language such as punning. The neurologic examination showed only a right-sided Babinski's sign. Seizure activity on an EEG was present in both temporocentral regions, especially on the right side, and was correlated with clinical attacks. A computed tomographic scan was normal. Phenobarbital therapy did not reduce seizure frequency.

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