Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Epilepsy: mimics, borderland and chameleons
  1. Phil E M Smith
  1. Correspondence to Professor Phil E M Smith, Department of Neurology, The Epilepsy Unit, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; smithpe{at}


Epilepsy mimics such as syncope and psychogenic attacks, can present like epilepsy, and can be erroneously managed as epilepsy. There are also several conditions at the borderland that closely relate to epilepsy yet are probably separate from it, eg. migralepsy and parasomnia. Finally, there are times when epileptic seizures resemble one of the epilepsy mimics. This is epilepsy in disguise–the epilepsy chameleons. Seizures with typically unusual manifestations, such as occipital or parietal lobe seizures, or those occurring in situations where another cause seems more likely, eg, in a person with alcoholism, may well be overlooked as epilepsy and initially escape diagnosis. This review explores the mimics of adult epilepsy, the epilepsy borderland, and focuses particularly on epilepsy chameleons.

  • Epilepsy

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Editors' choice
    Phil Smith Geraint Fuller

Other content recommended for you