Photosensitive Epilepsy of the Baboon: A Generalized Epilepsy with a Motor Cortical Origin

  • C. Silva-Barrat
  • Ch. Menini


The photosensitive epilepsy of baboons, discovered by Killam et al. (1966), is characterized by the appearance, when animals are submitted to intermittent light stimulation (ILS), of electrographic paroxysmal discharges (PDs) that are always bilateral and synchronous and that occupy large cortical territories. These paroxysmal discharges first appear in the frontal cortical regions. (Fischer-Williams et al., 1968) and are associated with epileptic clinical manifestations (bilateral and synchronous myoclonic jerks). Photically induced epileptic manifestations in baboons can be followed by generalized convulsive seizures that resemble grand mal seizures seen in epileptic human patients. According to this brief description, we can consider this form of epilepsy to be a “primary generalized epilepsy”p (Gastaut, 1973) similar to that of epileptic patients in whom no neurological deficit and no obvious etiological factors can be identified.


Reticular Formation Generalize Epilepsy Photic Stimulation Single Flash Multiunitary Activity 
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© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Silva-Barrat
  • Ch. Menini

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