Palinacousis - auditory perseveration: two cases and a review of the literature

Epilepsia. 2007 Sep;48(9):1801-1806. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01179.x. Epub 2007 Jul 18.


Palinacousis is an auditory illusion rarely reported in cases of temporal lobe dysfunction. Detailed observations where made by Jacobs et al. in 1973. Since that time, only a few other cases have been described in the literature. After reviewing the literature and comparing our clinical experience, we believe that palinacousis can occur as an aura, a simple partial seizure, a complex partial seizure, and/or a postictal event. Within one academic year, we observed two patients who experienced palinacousis. Palinacousis maybe more common than recognized in patients with receptive aphasias or diffuse cerebral dysfunction, whose language deficits preclude adequate description. It is important to differentiate palinacousis from auditory hallucinations seen in psychotic and psychiatric patients. Identification of palinacousis as an aura, simple partial seizure, complex partial seizure, and/or postictal phenomenon can help localize potential lesions and improve patient care.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Aged
  • Aphasia / diagnosis
  • Aphasia / psychology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / psychology
  • Electroencephalography / statistics & numerical data
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / psychology
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / diagnosis
  • Hallucinations / psychology
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis
  • Hearing Disorders / psychology*
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnosis
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / psychology
  • Humans
  • Illusions / psychology*
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / psychology
  • Meningioma / diagnosis
  • Meningioma / psychology
  • Middle Aged