Peri-ictal water drinking: A rare automatic behaviour in temporal lobe epilepsy

Nicola Pietrafusa, Marina Trivisano, Luca De Palma, Domenico Serino, Romina Moavero, Antonella Benvenga, Simona Cappelletti, Giovanni Boero, Federico Vigevano, Angela La Neve, Nicola Specchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peri-ictal water drinking (PIWD) has been reported as the action of drinking during or within two minutes of an electroclinical seizure. It is considered a peri-ictal vegetative symptom, evident both during childhood and adulthood epilepsy. The aim of this paper was to describe the clinical and electroencephalographic features of two new adult subjects suffering from symptomatic temporal lobe epilepsy with episodes of PIWD recorded by VIDEO-EEG and to review literature data in order to better define this peculiar event during seizures, a rare and probably underestimated semiological sign. To date, 51 cases with focal epilepsy and seizures associated with PIWD have been reported. All patients presented with temporal lobe epilepsy. All cases but one had symptomatic epilepsy. Most of the patients had an involvement of the right hemisphere. Water drinking was reported as an ictal sign in the majority of patients, and less frequently was reported as postictal. We believe that PIWD might be considered a rare automatic behaviour, like other automatisms. Automatisms are more frequently described in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. PIWD was reported also to have lateralizing significance in the non-dominant temporal lobe, however, because of its rarity, this finding remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-396
Number of pages13
JournalEpileptic Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Epilepsy/seizure and drinking/thirst
  • Peri-ictal drinking
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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