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June 1986

Activation of Epileptiform Activity by Mental Arithmetic

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Auckland (New Zealand) Hospital. Dr Anderson is now with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York.

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(6):624-626. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520060082026

• Activation of epileptic seizures or electroencephalographic epileptiform discharges by mental calculation is rare. We report the case of a 34-year-old right-handed accountant with a 20-year history of generalized tonoclonic seizures. Although clinical seizures were unrelated to performance of mental arithmetic, epileptiform activity appeared when she attempted difficult mental arithmetic. Apart from one occasion, epileptiform discharges did not impair her ability to provide accurate answers to mathematical problems.

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