Musicogenic epilepsy (ME) is a rare reflex epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by musical stimuli. Prior descriptions of ME have suggested localization to the nondominant temporal lobe, primarily in neocortex. Although resection has been described as a treatment for ME, other surgical modalities, such as laser ablation, may effectively disrupt seizure networks in ME while incurring comparatively lower risks of morbidity. The authors described the use of laser ablation to treat ME arising from the dominant mesial temporal structures.
A 37-year-old woman with a 15-year history of drug-resistant ME was referred for surgical evaluation. Her seizures were triggered by specific musical content and involved behavioral arrest, repetitive swallowing motions, and word incomprehension. Diagnostic studies, including magnetic resonance imaging, single-photon emission computed tomography, magnetoencephalography, Wada testing, and stereoelectroencephalography, indicated seizure onset in the left (dominant) mesial temporal lobe. Laser interstitial thermal therapy was used to ablate the left mesial seizure onset zone. The patient was discharged on postoperative day two. At 18-month follow-up, she was seizure-free with no posttreatment neurological deficits.
Laser ablation can be an effective treatment option for well-localized forms of ME, particularly when seizures originate from the dominant mesial temporal lobe.