Limbic Seizures

  • H. G. Wieser
  • W. Kausel


Before beginning a discussion of limbic seizures, it seems appropriate to define briefly the connotation of the term “limbic system.” In 1878, Broca described this phylogenetically old, trilaminar part around the brain stem as “le grande lobe limbique.” This apparatus became very popular after Papez (1937) had proposed his famous “circuit” and hypothetically linked it, because of its capability to reverberate, with the emotional-affective sphere. In 1952, Paul MacLean suggested the term “limbic system” as a designation for the limbic cortex and structures of the brain stem with which it has primary connections. As a result of more recent intensive anatomical studies, the borders of the limbic system concept have been expanded (Nauta 1979). This has led to a certain vagueness in its anatomical connotation. Obviously it is a matter of preference whether these diencephalic and mesencephalic structures, with which the core structures of the limbic region of the cerebral hemisphere (i. e., amygdala and hippocampal formation) are known to be associated by largely reciprocal fiber connections, should be incorporated. Thus the term limbic system, as currently used, is also at least partly based on physiological grounds. Morphologists, for this reason, sometimes find that the term “system” is not an adequate one insofar as different brain areas are constituents of it.


Limbic System Spontaneous Seizure Limbic Cortex Limbic Seizure Lateral Temporal Cortex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bindman L, Lippold O (1981) The neurophysiology of the cerebral cortex. Edward Arnold, London, 495 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Broca P (1878) Anatomie comparee des circonvolutions cerebrales. Le grand lobe limbique et la scissure limbique dans la serie des mammiferes. Rev Anthrop, Seri2, 1: 385–498Google Scholar
  3. Buser PA, Talairach J, Bancaud J (1968) Potentiels evoques, reponses paroxystiques aux stimulations peripheriques et zone epileptogene. Rev Neurol 118: 514PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Engel J Jr, Rausch R, Lieb JP, Kuhl DE, Crandall PH (1981) Correlation of criteria for localizing epileptic foci in patients considered for surgical therapy of epilepsy. Ann Neurol 9: 215–224PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Landolt H (1953) Some clinical-electroencephalographical correlations in epileptic psychoses (twilight states). Electro-encephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 5: 121Google Scholar
  6. MacLean PD (1952) Some psychiatric implications of physio-logical studies on fronto-temporal portion of limbic system (visceral brain). Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 4: 407–418PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. MacLean PD (1970) The triune brain, emotion, and scientific bias. In: Schmitt FO (ed) The neurosciences: second study program. The Rockefeller University Press, New York, pp 336–349Google Scholar
  8. MacLean PD (1973) The limbic galaxy. In: Heppner F (ed) Limbisches System und Epilepsie. Hans Huber, Berne, pp 52–61Google Scholar
  9. Morrel F (1985) Secondary epileptogenesis in man. Arch Neurol 42: 318–335Google Scholar
  10. Morrel F, Whisler WW (1980) Secondary epileptogenic lesions in man: prediction of the results of surgical excision of the primary focus. In: Canger R, Angeleri F, Penry JK (eds) Advances in epileptology: Xlth epilepsy international symposium. Raven, New York, pp 123–128Google Scholar
  11. Nauta WJH (1979) Expanding borders of the limbic system concept. In: Rasmussen T, Marino R (eds) Functional neurosurgery. Raven, New York, pp 7–23Google Scholar
  12. Nieuwenhuys R, Voogd J, van Huijzen C (1980) Das Zentralnervensystem des Menschen (Atlas mit Begleittext). Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  13. Papez JW (1937) A proposed mechanisms of emotion. Arch Neurol 38: 725–743Google Scholar
  14. Smith WK (1945) The functional significance of the rostral cingular cortex as revealed by its responses to electrical excitation. J Neurophysiol 8: 241–255Google Scholar
  15. Tellenbach H (1965) Epilepsie als Anfallsleiden und als Psy- chose. liber alternative Psychosen paranoider Pragung bei ‘forcierter Normalisierung’ (Landolt) des Elektroencephalogramms Epileptischer. Nervenarzt 36: 190–202PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Wada J (1949) A new method for the determination of the side of cerebral speech dominance. A preliminary report on the intracarotid injection of sodium amytal in man. Igaku to Seibutssugaku (Jpn) 14: 221–222Google Scholar
  17. Ward AA (1948) The cingulate gyrus: area 24. J Neurophysiol 11: 13–23PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Wieser HG (1983 a) Depth recorded limbic seizures and psychopathology. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 7: 427–440Google Scholar
  19. Wieser HG ( 1983 b) Electroclinical features of the psychomotor seizure. Gustav Fischer, Butterworths/Stuttgart, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Wieser HG ( 1986 a) Psychomotor seizures of hippocampal-amygdalar origin. In: Pedley TA, Meldrum BS (eds) Recent advances in epilepsy 3. Churchill-Livingstone, Edinburgh, pp 57–79Google Scholar
  21. Wieser HG ( 1986 b) Selective amygdalohippocampectomy: indications, investigative techniques and results. In: Symon L, Brihaye J, Guidetti B, Loew F, Miller JD, Nornes H, Pasztor E, Pertuiset B, Yasargil MG (eds) Advances and technical standards in neurosurgery 13: 39–133, Springer, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  22. Wieser HG ( 1987 a) The phenomenology of focal limbic seizures. In: Wieser HG, Speckmann EJ, Engel J Jr (eds) The epileptic focus. John Libbey, London, Paris, pp 113–136Google Scholar
  23. Wieser HG, Elger CE, Stodieck SRG (1985) The ‘foramen ovale electrode’: a new recording method for the preoperative evaluation of patients suffering from mesiobasal temporal lobe epilepsy. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 61: 314–322PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wieser HG, Valavanis A, Regard M, Landis T, Yasargil G (1987 b) “Selective” Amytal temporal lobe memory test. (Abstr) 17th Epilepsy Internat Congress, JerusalemGoogle Scholar
  25. Wolf P (1986) Forced normalization. In: Trimble MR, Bolwig TG (eds) Aspects of epilepsy and psychiatry. John Wiley, Chichester, pp 101–115Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. G. Wieser
    • 1
  • W. Kausel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity HospitalZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations