Reading epilepsy is a rare form of epilepsy, classified among idiopathic, age- and localisation-related (partial) epilepsies as a reflex epilepsy syndrome. Seizures usually consist of myoclonic jerks restricted to the jaw. However, distinct ictal features including visual symptoms and paroxysmal a- or dyslexia are described in some patients. The anatomical substrate of ictogenesis in reading epilepsy remains poorly understood.
We report here the case of a primary reading epilepsy for which ictal semiology was characterized by visual symptoms and dyslexia, investigated by MRI, interictal high-resolution EEG and PET, ictal video-EEG and SPECT. Brain MRI was normal. Interictal high resolution EEG was performed with 64 scalp channels, a realistic head model and different algorithms to solve the inverse problem. Interictal source localizations highlighted the left occipito-temporal junction. Interictal PET demonstrated bilateral occipito-temporal hypometabolism with left-sided predominance. Ictal EEG showed a rhythmic discharge in left temporo-parieto-occipital junction channels, with left occipito-temporal predominance. MRI fusion of the co-registered subtraction between ictal and interictal SPECT individualized relative hyperperfusion affecting (a) the left occipito-parietal junction area (b) the left lateral middle and inferior temporal gyri and (c) the left inferior frontal area.
Besides reading-induced myoclonic jerks of the jaw, a second variant of reading epilepsy exists with clearly partial seizures manifested by visual symptoms and a- or dyslexia. These seizures originate from the occipito-temporal region of the dominant hemisphere, corresponding to the posterior part of the neural network that underlies the function of reading.