Occipital lobe seizures and epilepsies.
Adcock JE., Panayiotopoulos CP.
Occipital lobe epilepsies (OLEs) manifest with occipital seizures from an epileptic focus within the occipital lobes. Ictal clinical symptoms are mainly visual and oculomotor. Elementary visual hallucinations are common and characteristic. Postictal headache occurs in more than half of patients (epilepsy-migraine sequence). Electroencephalography (EEG) is of significant diagnostic value, but certain limitations should be recognized. Occipital spikes and/or occipital paroxysms either spontaneous or photically induced are the main interictal EEG abnormalities in idiopathic OLE. However, occipital epileptiform abnormalities may also occur without clinical relationship to seizures particularly in children. In cryptogenic/symptomatic OLE, unilateral posterior EEG slowing is more common than occipital spikes. In neurosurgical series of symptomatic OLE, interictal EEG abnormalities are rarely strictly occipital. The most common localization is in the posterior temporal regions and less than one-fifth show occipital spikes. In photosensitive OLE, intermittent photic stimulation elicits (1) spikes/polyspikes confined in the occipital regions or (2) generalized spikes/polyspikes with posterior emphasis. In ictal EEG, a well-localized unifocal rhythmic ictal discharge during occipital seizures is infrequent. A bioccipital field spread to the temporal regions is common. Frequency, severity, and response to treatment vary considerably from good to intractable and progressive mainly depending on underlying causes.