Reference Work Entry

Atlas of Epilepsies

pp 471-473

Aphasic Seizures

  • John M. SternAffiliated withGeffen School of Medicine at UCLA


Aphasic seizures are epileptic impairments of language that are not due to motor or sensory dysfunction and have aphasia as the predominant manifestation.


Ictal aphasia without additional cognitive dysfunction (aphasic seizure) is a simple partial seizure, but aphasia may also occur during complex partial seizures, which are distinguished from simple partial seizures by the additional cognitive dysfunction of amnesia. The individual having a complex partial seizure is amnestic for events during the seizure. Aphasic seizures are more specifically categorized by the International League Against Epilepsy as motor seizures without elementary motor phenomena.

Clinical Manifestation

Both aphasic and dysphasic seizures are manifested by primary language dysfunction and differ only in the degree of impairment, with aphasia indicating greater dysfunction. The abnormality may be evident in the impairment of comprehension or outpu ...

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