Clinical advances in photosensitive epilepsy

Brain Res. 2019 Jan 15:1703:18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.07.025. Epub 2018 Aug 1.


Photosensitive epilepsy is the most common subset of reflex epilepsy in humans. It is characterized by an abnormal electroencephalogram trait known as photoparoxysmal response (PPR) corresponding to ictal symptomology in response to intermittent photic stimulation. Increased exposure to photic stimulation through technological and societal advance has had a significant impact on the incidence and interest in photosensitive epilepsy. Paralleled scientific developments have deepened our understanding of the neurophysiology underlying photosensitivity, especially in the context of deep genomic sequencing and neuroimaging. Furthermore, given the relatively predictable nature of photosensitive epilepsy, there is substantial interest in translating advancements in this field to epilepsy as a whole. Herein, we comprehensively review the epidemiology, clinical features and novel insights into the mechanism behind photosensitive epilepsy with a focus on the clinical implications of new advancements.

Keywords: Clinical update; Photoparoxysmal EEG response; Review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic / therapy
  • Epilepsy, Reflex / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy, Reflex / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging / methods
  • Photic Stimulation / adverse effects
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Photoparoxysmal Response 3