Ictal pleasant sensations: cerebral localization and lateralization

Epilepsia. 2004 Jan;45(1):35-40. doi: 10.1111/j.0013-9580.2004.09303.x.


Ictal pleasant feelings are a rare sign of focal epilepsies. The most popular description was performed by Dostojevskij, who reported an aura by Myshken in one of his books. No convincing evidence has been published concerning the cerebral localization of ictal happiness. In this study, the findings of 11 patients with ictal pleasant feelings are described. In eight patients, the origin of the focal epileptic activity was found in the temporal lobe (most often temporal inferior basal); in three patients, frontal or parietal lobe in addition to temporal lobe involvement was found. According to our findings ictal happiness is a localizing sign pointing to the ictal involvement of temporal mesiobasal areas. Lateralization to the right temporal lobe was found in seven and to the left temporal lobe in four patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Epilepsies, Partial / pathology*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology
  • Epilepsies, Partial / psychology*
  • Female
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensation / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology