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Localisation in focal epilepsy: a practical guide
  1. Fahmida A Chowdhury1,2,
  2. Rui Silva1,
  3. Benjamin Whatley1,3,
  4. Matthew C Walker1,2
  1. 1Department of Epilepsy, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Neurology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Fahmida A Chowdhury, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London WC1N 3BG, UK; fahmidaamin.chowdhury{at}


The semiology of epileptic seizures reflects activation, or dysfunction, of areas of brain (often termed the symptomatogenic zone) as a seizure begins and evolves. Specific semiologies in focal epilepsies provide an insight into the location of the seizure onset zone, which is particularly important for presurgical epilepsy assessment. The correct diagnosis of paroxysmal events also depends on the clinician being familiar with the spectrum of semiologies. Here, we summarise the current literature on localisation in focal epilepsies using illustrative cases and discussing possible pitfalls in localisation.

  • epilepsy
  • surgery
  • neurophysiol
  • clinical

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  • Contributors FAC drafted and edited the manuscript. RS helped with the literature review and collection of video cases. MCW provided critical review of the manuscript. BW contributed to figures and editing the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Khalid Hamandi, Cardiff, UK.

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