Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 630853, 5 pages
Review Article

A Review of the Epidemiology of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Royal University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0W8

Received 22 July 2011; Revised 6 October 2011; Accepted 5 November 2011

Academic Editor: Seyed M. Mirsattari

Copyright © 2012 Jose F. Téllez-Zenteno and Lizbeth Hernández-Ronquillo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Partial-onset epilepsies account for about 60% of all adult epilepsy cases, and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common type of partial epilepsy referred for epilepsy surgery and often refractory to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Little is known about the epidemiology of TLE, because it requires advanced neuroimaging, positive EEG, and appropriate clinical semiology to confirm the diagnosis. Moreover, recently recognized incidentally detected mesial temporal sclerosis in otherwise healthy individuals and benign temporal epilepsy indicate that the true epidemiology of TLE is underestimated. Our current knowledge on the epidemiology of TLE derives from data published from tertiary referral centers and/or inferred from population-based studies dealing with epilepsy. This article reviews the following aspects of the epidemiology of TLE: definitions, studies describing epidemiological rates, methodological observations, the interpretation of available studies, and recommendations for future studies.