Temporal lobe epileptic activity mimicking dementia: A case report

Mario Tombini, G. Koch, F. Placidi, G. Sancesario, M. G. Marciani, G. Bernardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Epileptic activity is an underdiagnosed cause that can determine a disruption of memory and cognitive performance, leading an incorrect diagnosis of dementia. We report a 68-year-old man, referred with a 5-year history of subtle behavioral changes and a subjective memory impairment, who was admitted to our department because of recurrent episodes of confusional state lasting from 1 week. Neuropsychological evaluation demonstrated a marked impairment of all cognitive domains examined. Electroencephalogram (EEG) recording showed frequent almost continuous sharp waves localized on the bilateral posterior temporal regions with mild right side pre-dominance. Treatment with phenytoin reversed his cognitive dysfunction and behavioral disturbances. We presume that ictal temporal lobe epileptiform activity is the cause of his confusional episodes and cognitive dysfunction, showing an electroclinical picture of complex partial status epilepticus. However, we hypothesize that the interictal discharges and ictal and postictal effects of subclinical seizures could be involved in the behavioral changes and memory impairment complained by our patient in the last years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-806
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Arachnoid cysts
  • Dementia
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Memory
  • Temporal lobe epileptic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Tombini, M., Koch, G., Placidi, F., Sancesario, G., Marciani, M. G., & Bernardi, G. (2005). Temporal lobe epileptic activity mimicking dementia: A case report. European Journal of Neurology, 12(10), 805-806. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2005.01078.x