Celiac disease, bilateral occipital calcifications and intractable epilepsy: Mechanisms of seizure origin

Andrea Bernasconi, Neda Bernasconi, Frederick Andermann, François Dubeau, Alan Guberman, Giuseppe Gobbi, André Olivier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To elucidate the mechanisms of seizure origin in patients with celiac disease and bilateral occipital calcifications (CEBOC). Individuals with CEBOC frequently present with occipital lobe seizures, but additional lesions and additional attack patterns may occur. Methods: We studied two men and one woman who had CEBOC. Villous atrophy was revealed in the two patients who underwent duodenal biopsy. All had a comprehensive presurgical evaluation, including prolonged video-EEG recordings. Two had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with volumetric study of mesial temporal structures (MRIV). One patient had undergone stereotactic intracranial depth electrode studies (SEEG}. Results: All patients presented with intractable complex partial seizures. Two had partial simple seizures with visual aura. Neurologic examination was normal: one was of normal intelligence, and two were mildly retarded. Neuroimaging studies showed that each had bilateral occipital calcifications as well as epileptiform abnormalities over temporal lobes. In one, MRI showed an additional right frontal lesion, but SEEG demonstrated right occipital lobe seizure origin with anterior spread; this male patient later underwent a right occipital lobe resection. Another with a history of prolonged febrile convulsions had bilateral hippocampal and amygdalar atrophy demonstrated by MRIV. Conclusions: In one patient, SEEG confirmed that seizures originated in the occipital lobe. The presence of dual pathology was demonstrated in another, raising the possibility of both occipital and temporal seizure onset. The presence of extraoccipital lesions or of mesial temporal atrophy requires SEEG for clarification of seizure onset. In the absence of confounding factors and when laterality can be demonstrated, surgical treatment may be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-306
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Celiac disease
  • Electroencephalography
  • Intractable epilepsy
  • MRI
  • Occipital calcifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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