: Gelastic seizures are rare epileptic manifestations characterized by laughter or a smile. The main etiology is represented by hypothalamic hamartoma, but also focal localization of the epileptogenic zone is described. We reviewed a group of patients with gelastic seizures to describe the semiology and to establish any difference related to diverse epilepsy etiologies. Thirty-five seizures from 16 patients (6 females) were reviewed. The study confirms that hypothalamic hamartoma is the more frequent etiology associated with gelastic seizures. Laughter represented the majority of gelastic ictal signs, while the ictal smile was less frequent. In 87.5% of patients, the manifestation of laughter or smile was the only ictal phenomenon, or the first and the most important clinical sign. Interestingly, it has been observed that patients with a lesion localized in the hypothalamic region had more frequently laughter with emotional involvement and that laughter was the only manifestation of the seizure. On the contrary, patients with lesions localized outside the hypothalamic region had more often seizures with laugh without emotional involvement, resembling a more mechanical action, and associated with other semeiological signs. It, therefore, seems possible to assume that the emotional involvement and the expression of mirth during the seizure, especially in children, are more frequently associated with hypothalamic hamartoma. On the contrary, when the semiology includes less conveyed emotion similar to a mechanical action and other symptoms, an extra hypothalamic localization should be considered.

Ictal semiology of gelastic seizures

Cantalupo, Gaetano;
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Gelastic seizures are rare epileptic manifestations characterized by laughter or a smile. The main etiology is represented by hypothalamic hamartoma, but also focal localization of the epileptogenic zone is described. We reviewed a group of patients with gelastic seizures to describe the semiology and to establish any difference related to diverse epilepsy etiologies. Thirty-five seizures from 16 patients (6 females) were reviewed. The study confirms that hypothalamic hamartoma is the more frequent etiology associated with gelastic seizures. Laughter represented the majority of gelastic ictal signs, while the ictal smile was less frequent. In 87.5% of patients, the manifestation of laughter or smile was the only ictal phenomenon, or the first and the most important clinical sign. Interestingly, it has been observed that patients with a lesion localized in the hypothalamic region had more frequently laughter with emotional involvement and that laughter was the only manifestation of the seizure. On the contrary, patients with lesions localized outside the hypothalamic region had more often seizures with laugh without emotional involvement, resembling a more mechanical action, and associated with other semeiological signs. It, therefore, seems possible to assume that the emotional involvement and the expression of mirth during the seizure, especially in children, are more frequently associated with hypothalamic hamartoma. On the contrary, when the semiology includes less conveyed emotion similar to a mechanical action and other symptoms, an extra hypothalamic localization should be considered.
2023
Gelastic seizures
Hypothalamic hamartoma
Laughter
Symptomatic focal epilepsy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1085786
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