Auditory aura in nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy: A red flag to suspect an extra-frontal epileptogenic zone

Lorenzo Ferri, Francesca Bisulli, Lino Nobili, Laura Tassi, Laura Licchetta, Barbara Mostacci, Carlotta Stipa, Greta Mainieri, Giorgia Bernabè, Federica Provini, Paolo Tinuper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the anatomo-electro-clinical findings of patients with nocturnal hypermotor seizures (NHS) preceded by auditory symptoms, to evaluate the localizing value of auditory aura. Methods: Our database of 165 patients with nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy (NFLE) diagnosis confirmed by videopolysomnography (VPSG) was reviewed, selecting those who reported an auditory aura as the initial ictal symptom in at least two NHS during their lifetime. Results: Eleven patients were selected (seven males, four females). According to the anatomo-electro-clinical data, three groups were identified. Group 1 [defined epileptogenic zone (EZ)]: three subjects were studied with stereo-EEG. The EZ lay in the left superior temporal gyrus in two cases, whereas in the third case seizures arose from a dysplastic lesion located in the left temporal lobe. One of these three patients underwent left Heschl's gyrus resection, and is currently seizure-free. Group 2 (presumed EZ): three cases in which a presumed EZ was identified; in the left temporal lobe in two cases and in the left temporal lobe extending to the insula in one subject. Group 3 (uncertain EZ): five cases had anatomo-electro-clinical correlations discordant. Conclusions: This work suggests that auditory aura may be a helpful anamnestic feature suggesting an extra-frontal seizure origin. This finding could guide secondary investigations to improve diagnostic definition and selection of candidates for surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1417-1423
Number of pages7
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Auditory aura
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptogenic zone
  • Hypermotor seizures
  • Localizing value
  • Nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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