also called TLE, is the most commonly diagnosed epileptic syndrome involving partial seizures occuring in the temporal lobe of the brain. these seizures are often called auras because they tend to precede more physically disabling seizures. studies have shown that TLE causes the hippocampus to shrink over time, which can, if the shrinking is significant, effect the ability to learn.

  • hallucinations or illusions (may be visions, tastes, smells)
  • strong sense of deja vu.
  • muscle contractions usually only affecting part of the body (rare).
  • lip movements.
  • uncontrolled chewing and swallowing.
  • excessive slobbering.
  • forced turning of the head and/or eyes (usually towards opposite side of the affected portion of the brain).
  • numbness, tingling or an 'asleep' feeling (usually only in one area of the body).
  • loss of memory (amnesia) of the seizure and events leading up to it.
Temporal lobe epilepsy can cause elaborate and multiple sensory, motor, and/or psychotic difficulties. One doesn't have to flop around like a drooling fish to have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

Symptoms can include: An EEG often reveals spike discharges in the temporal lobe during sleep.

This is treated with anticonvulsants.

datagirl is diagnosed with this. So hey. yeah, stuff. Been on Tegretol and lamictal for it
In Strange Brains and Genius (page 297), Clifford A. Pickover writes that these people "have been considered" to have had temporal lobe epilepsy: Peter the Great, Alexander the Great, Moliere, Eugene Delacroix, Rasputin, August Strindberg, and actor Richard Burton." He does not say considered by whom.

Added 2000/09/19:

Eve LaPlante agrees about Moliere and Eugene Delacroix in Seized: Temporal Lobe Epilepsy as a Medical, Historical, and Artistic Phenomenon (HarperCollins, May 2000, ISBN 0595094317) and adds van Gogh.

Don't forget Fyodor Dostoyefsky, a rather famous temporal lobe epileptic. It's been conjectured that Paul had fits of TLE on the road to Damascus (it's a Biblical thing). Joan of Arc was a temporal lobe epileptic. Temporal lobe epileptics, writes Thom Jones, sometimes experience a grand satori during the onset of the epileptic fit. I think Walt Whitman had one such experience on that warm June day (or was it July?). Interested parties should also read Thom Jones' collection of short stories, The Pugilist at Rest.

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