Surgical treatment of patients with drug-resistant hypermotor seizures


Address correspondence to Li Yongjie, MD, PhD, Beijing Institute of Functional Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. E-mail:


Purpose: To describe the clinical, electrophysiologic, neuroradiologic, and histologic findings in our patients with drug-resistant hypermotor seizures (HMSs) and to evaluate the outcome of their surgical treatment.

Methods: Twenty-three patients were identified by criteria for drug-resistant HMS. Surgical treatment and presurgical evaluation modalities including semiology, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), interictal/ictal scalp video-EEG (electroencephalography), and intracranial recording were analyzed retrospectively.

Results: The common seizure frequency of 60–300 per month was observed among 15 patients. Sixteen patients (69.6%) experienced auras such as fear and palpitation. Marked agitation was observed in 12 patients and mild agitation in 11 patients. Groaning/shouting and asymmetric posturing were common accompanying symptoms. Asymmetric posturing was observed more often in patients with mild agitation than in those with marked agitation (p = 0.027). MRI detected focal abnormalities in six patients. Intracranial recording was conducted in 16 patients. The origins of seizures were localized in mesial frontal cortex in four patients, dorsolateral frontal cortex in four patients, and mesial temporal cortex in two patients. The epileptogenic zones (EZs) were resected from the frontal lobe in 21 patients and from the temporal lobe in 2 patients. The follow-up ranged from 12–60 months. Seventeen patients (73.9%) had been seizure-free, 11 of whom had presented with marked agitation (11 of 12) and 6 with mild agitation (6 of 11) (p = 0.069). Histologic examinations demonstrated focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) in 18 patients.

Discussion: The HMSs can originate from both the mesial and dorsolateral frontal cortex, and occasionally from the temporal lobe. Patients with drug-resistant HMSs should be recommended for resective surgical treatment.