Reflex seizure

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Reflex seizures may occur in reflex epilepsies only or also in other epilepsy syndromes in combination with other seizure types. They are seizures which are the result of sensory stimulation caused by the environment or own activities of the affected persons. The most common type is photosensitive seizure.

In susceptible people, reflex seizures may be elicited by many stimuli including eating, hot water, intermittent visual stimuli (flickering, stroboscopic light), music, playing games, reading, writing, singing sudden noise, tooth brushing or touch at certain areas of the body.[1][2][3][4]


There are various reflex epilepsies, including:[5]

Generalised seizures, particularly myoclonic and tonic-clonic, are the most common type of reflex seizures, though other types of seizures may occur.[6][5]


The trigger needs to be identified before prescribing anti-epileptics.[5] The most commonly prescribed drugs for reflex epilepsy are valproate, carbamazepine and clonazepam, though lamotrigine, levetiracetam are promising.[7]


  1. ^ Beaumanoir A, Gastaut H, Naquet R, eds. Reflex Seizures and Reflex Epilepsies. International Symposium on Reflex Seizures and Reflex Epilepsies, Genève, Juin 1988. Genève, Editions Médicine et Hygiene 1989
  2. ^ Zifkin BG, Andermann F, Beaumanoir A, Rowan AJ, eds. Reflex Epilepsies and Reflex Seizures (Advances in Neurology, Vol 75). Philadelphia – New York, Lippincott – Raven 1998
  3. ^ Senanayake N. Epilepsies with seizures precipitated by specific modes of activation. In: Meinardi H, ed. The Epilepsies, Part II, Vol 73 (Rev Series 29) of: Vinken PJ, Bruyn GW, eds. Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Amsterdam – Lausanne – New York, et al, Elsevier 2000: 183–198
  4. ^ Wolf P, Inoue Y, Zifkin B, eds. Reflex Epilepsies: Progress in Understanding (Current Problems in Epilepsy, Vol 19). Montrouge – Esher, J. Libbey 2004
  5. ^ a b c "Reflex epilepsies". British Epilepsy Association. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Xue, LY; Ritaccio, AL (March 2006). "Reflex seizures and reflex epilepsy". American journal of electroneurodiagnostic technology. 46 (1): 39–48. PMID 16605171. 
  7. ^ "Reflex Epilepsy". NYU Langone Medical Center. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 

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