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Keywords:

  • Temporal lobe epilepsy;
  • Aphasic seizures;
  • Chromosome 10;
  • Linkage;
  • Autosomal dominant

Summary:  Purpose: To describe the phenotypic expression of a new family with familial lateral temporal lobe epilepsy with aphasic seizures, and to compare the findings with the clinical features of previously reported families linked to chromosome 10q22-q24.

Methods: Medical records were collected from 12 living affected members. The patients underwent a personal interview and a clinical neurologic examination. Results from interictal scalp EEGs and neuroimaging examinations were obtained.

Results: The cardinal ictal symptom was a brief sensory aphasia in eight of the patients. In four, this was accompanied by auditory symptoms, usually in the form of monotonous unformed sounds. Simple partial seizures with psychic or somatosensory seizures also were present. Visual ictal symptoms and complex partial seizures were absent. All patients had generalized tonic–clonic seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) did not reveal morphologic correlates. Improvement with age seemed to occur in many patients. Significant linkage to chromosome 10q22-q24 was established by testing 17 polymorphic microsatellite markers.

Conclusions: The epilepsy of this family appears to represent a variety of autosomal dominant lateral temporal lobe epilepsy. Aphasic seizures and a peculiar seizure-precipitating effect of the activation of speech (initiation or perception) may serve as markers for identifying further families with this phenotype.