Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 751510, 10 pages
Review Article

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Semiology

Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Credit Valley Hospital, University of Toronto, Mississauga, ON, Canada L5M 2N1

Received 22 October 2011; Accepted 26 December 2011

Academic Editor: Seyed M. Mirsattari

Copyright © 2012 Robert D. G. Blair. 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.


Epilepsy represents a multifaceted group of disorders divided into two broad categories, partial and generalized, based on the seizure onset zone. The identification of the neuroanatomic site of seizure onset depends on delineation of seizure semiology by a careful history together with video-EEG, and a variety of neuroimaging technologies such as MRI, fMRI, FDG-PET, MEG, or invasive intracranial EEG recording. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the commonest form of focal epilepsy and represents almost 2/3 of cases of intractable epilepsy managed surgically. A history of febrile seizures (especially complex febrile seizures) is common in TLE and is frequently associated with mesial temporal sclerosis (the commonest form of TLE). Seizure auras occur in many TLE patients and often exhibit features that are relatively specific for TLE but few are of lateralizing value. Automatisms, however, often have lateralizing significance. Careful study of seizure semiology remains invaluable in addressing the search for the seizure onset zone.