The running down phenomenon in temporal lobe epilepsy

Vicenta Salanova, Frederick Andermann, Theodore Rasmussen, André Olivier, Luis Quesney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

103 Scopus citations


We compared 100 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy who exhibited the running down phenomenon following temporal resections, with two groups of patients: 100 patients who became seizure-free, and 100 patients who continued to have frequent seizures following temporal resection. We found a significant correlation between prognosis and the size of the epileptogenic area as defined; patients with smaller epileptogenic areas had the best prognosis (seizure-free group). Patients exhibiting the running down phenomenon had intermediate size epileptogenic areas, while those patients who continued to have seizures had the largest epileptogenic areas often involving the lateral temporal and posterior temporal cortex. Other factors predictive of good outcome were: a history of febrile seizures, predominantly unilateral interictal spiking, anterior temporal localization, extent of resection of the mesial temporal structures, surgery under the age of 30 years, and the absence of habitual seizures in the immediate postoperative period. Patients with history of head trauma, encephalitis, posterior temporal localization and bitemporal spiking had a worse outcome. The frequency and types of aurae, and laterality of resection did not correlate with outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)989-996
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1996


  • Epilepsy
  • Outcome
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Salanova, V., Andermann, F., Rasmussen, T., Olivier, A., & Quesney, L. (1996). The running down phenomenon in temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain, 119(3), 989-996.