Respiratory arrest from seizure discharges in the limbic system

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Nelson DA and Ray CD (1968) Respiratory arrest from seizure discharges in limbic system. Report of cases. Arch Neurol 19:2 199–207.

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Abstract: (Summary) Electrical stimulation to and seizure discharges in the limbic system are capable of producing respiratory arrest usually of less than one minute in duration. Such apnea has been previously reported mostly as expiratory arrest. During a depth stimulation study, when stimuli were applied in or near the left amygdaloid nucleus, our patient had either inspiratory or expiratory arrest depending upon the phase of respiration during which stimuli were applied. The duration of arrest corresponded closely to the duration of the after-discharge. A patient with temporal lobe epilepsy is presented who has had nine episodes of severe respiratory insufficiency not associated with grand mal seizures. The last three of these necessitated the use of a respirator. The hypothesis is advanced that this apnea represents a seizure phenomenon. During one episode, an unusual low-voltage EEG with 6 to 14/sec spindle-like activity was recorded similar to recordings heretofore obtained from animals during experimental anoxia.


For context see Zhang et al., 1986.