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Rub epilepsy: a somatosensory evoked reflex epilepsy induced by prolonged cutaneous stimulation
  1. K Kanemotoa,
  2. Y Watanabeb,
  3. T Tsujic,
  4. M Fukamia,
  5. J Kawasakia
  1. aKansai Regional Epilepsy Center, Utano National Hospital, Kyoto, Japan, bNational Epilepsy Center, Shizuoka Higashi Hospital, Shizuoka, Japan, cShinjo Hospital, Wakayama, Japan
  1. Dr K Kanemoto, Aichi Medical University, Department of Neuropsychiatry, 21 Yazako-Karimata, 480–1195, Aichi, JapanPEH06237{at}


TO DELINEATE RUB EPILEPSY a type of reflex epilepsy induced by prolonged or repetitive cutaneous stimulation in a circumscribed area of the body—three cases are presented, as well as one of tooth brushing epilepsy for comparison. In all three cases of rub epilepsy, cutaneous stimuli in a particular body area on the left side initially induced a sensory jacksonian march in the middle of, or in close vicinity to, the trigger zone, which led to subsequent unilateral tonic contractions with intact consciousness. By contrast, a motor jacksonian seizure without sensory aura was induced in the patient with tooth brushing epilepsy. A review of cases with rub epilepsy, including those in this paper, disclosed a striking consistency in clinical manifestations. The symptomatology of the induced seizures indicates a propagation of epileptic discharges from the postcentral gyrus to the supplementary motor area. Rub epilepsy is proposed as a separate clinical entity, clearly demarcated from other somatosensory evoked reflex epilepsies such as startle and tooth brushing epilepsy.

  • somatosensory evoked reflex epilepsy
  • startle epilepsy
  • tooth brushing epilepsy

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