Secondary epileptogenesis in man

Arch Neurol. 1985 Apr;42(4):318-35. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1985.04060040028009.


It is difficult to prove the existence of secondary epileptogenesis in man. In the majority of cases of human focal epilepsy, where the cause is likely to be trauma, infection, or vascular disease, the occurrence of additional or new epileptogenic foci is usually attributed to multiple primary injuries (maturing at different rates), or to progressive disease. Cerebral tumor is the only common cause in which the probability of multiple primary lesions is vanishingly low. Therefore, a personally followed series of cases of cerebral tumor seen as epilepsy are reviewed in which clinical, electrophysiologic, and pharmacologic data are analyzed for evidence of secondary epileptogenesis. Such evidence was found in 34% of our tumor patients. It was possible to demonstrate, in humans, the three stages of secondary epileptogenesis previously documented in animals. A pharmacologic test is described that separates the reversible from the irreversible stage of secondary epileptogenesis and allows prediction of the results of surgical removal of the primary focus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields