Startle-induced epileptic seizures

U. Aguglia, P. Tinuper, H. Gastaut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study was undertaken in order to describe 16 more patients suffering from startle-induced epileptic seizures and to clarify further the possible therapeutic activity of benzodiazepines in this rare reflex epilepsy. The interictal and ictal electroclinical data of 16 epileptic children or adolescents have been detailed. A CT-scan was performed in 10 patients; six of them showed an atrophy of the mesial surface of one or both hemispheres ('mesial hypodensity'). Benzodiazepine was associated with the previous antiepileptic treatment in the 16 ineffectively treated patients. Clonazepam was administered in three patients; one of them was completely unresponsive and two became seizure-free for a mean of 16.5 months but complained of drowsiness or ataxia. Clobazam was administered in 13 patients; 15.4% of them were completely unresponsive, 23.1% experienced drug resistance, and 61.5% obtained a good control (91.5% reduction of the reflex seizures) for a mean of 22.75 months. In spite of a possible loss of therapeutic activity, the appearance of very few unfavorable side effects and the presence of favorable side effects ('psychomotor arousal') make clobazam therapy important in the treatment of patients suffering from startle epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-720
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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