Speech preservation during language-dominant, left temporal lobe seizures: Report of a rare, potentially misleading finding

Kitti Kaiboriboon, Jack M. Parent, Nicholas M. Barbaro, John A. Walker, Paul A. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence and mechanism of ictal speech in patients with language-dominant, left temporal lobe seizures. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the video-EEG telemetry records for the presence of ictal speech in 96 patients with surgically proven left temporal lobe epilepsy and studied the seizure-propagation patterns in three patients who required intracranial EEG recordings for seizure localization. Results: Ictal speech preservation was observed in five patients. One patient's seizures demonstrated rapid propagation of the ictal discharges to the contralateral temporal area where the seizure evolved, resembling a nondominant temporal lobe seizure. The other two patients had ictal discharges that remained confined to the inferomesial temporal areas, sparing language cortex. Conclusions: Preservation of speech in complex partial seizures of language-dominant, left temporal lobe origin is rare. Based on intracranial EEG recordings, the likely mechanism underlying this potentially misleading clinical finding is the preservation of language areas due to limited seizure-propagation patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1346
Number of pages4
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006



  • Ictal speech
  • Language
  • Seizure semiology
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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