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DrRussMd, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 65266
Experience:  Internal medicine doctor, diagnose and treat neurology patients, many years
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I'm a 32/F. Lifelong history of headaches. In 2005, a

Customer Question

I'm a 32/F. Lifelong history of headaches.
In 2005, a cerebral angiogram was performed to rule out AVM after suspicious findings on MRI. The Angio showed a LEFT temporal lobe lesion (a VM) and mentioned "hypoplastic LEFT transverse sinus."
In 2014, I experienced some LEFT head trauma related to a physical beating. Since then, I haven't had a proper MRI, just 2 CT scans (since that's all that's available in the ER). I DO HAVE an MRI & EEG coming up soon, though (now that I have a great neurologist). I also have a rare vascular disease; CM-AVM Syndrome. If unfamiliar, which most doctors and neurologists are, here's a link (
Since my head trauma 20 months ago, I've had “seizure-like” attacks. I'm not discounting the fact that I've been under a tremendous amount of stress since my beating 20 months ago, but here's a description of the "symptoms" I've experienced;
I am able to speak through the majority of the episodes I have. I actually involuntarily acted out several tasks; typing on a keyboard, doing an exercise routine, playing the drums, dancing, getting dressed, doing my hair, putting on makeup, making cappuccino in a press, filing in a filing cabinet, changing a baby...scariest of all, my body remembered the attack from my ex and I literally could not stop myself from going through the actions of being held down and beaten. My body seems to involuntarily pantomime memories. What makes it "seizure-like" is that my face grimaces, my eyes flutter and blink, I'll chew air and shake my head, there's stiffening of my arms and my legs, and I'll shuffle and drag my feet.
I'm typically lucid and aware the whole time. I've never lost control of my bladder or bowels, but I do seem to have extreme emotional responses prior to AND following these "episodes." What I mean by "extreme emotional responses," is basically, fits of rage (which is NOT at all typical for me), uncontrollable sobbing, delusions, hallucinations, bouts of insomnia, and periods of brain fog and body fatigue (where I’m unable to get out of bed for 24 hours or more).
Like I said, I understand how powerful stress can be, and I’m not discounting the possibility of PTSD or stress related seizures. In fact, I think both are the most likely culprits considering what I’ve been through, but I was curious what your thoughts were given my description.
No Drugs
Very light smoker (3/day - sometimes none)
40mg/Latuda/1 day
100mg/Topamax/1 day
20mg/Prozac/1 day
300mg/Gabapentin/1 day
VERY recent Bi-Polar diagnosis
Thank you in advance for your care and consideration in answering my question!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.


Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.


I have reviewed your situation.

What is your question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My question is, does this sound like a seizure disorder or a psychiatric condition? If I have to summarize it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did you read everything?
Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.

It sounds mostly like psychiatric, medication effects, or the like.

Yes of course I read everything.

All of that said, there are odd temporal lobe seizures that can act like this.

That requires an EEG and even then a regular EEG is not always dianostic.

You should discuss a sleep deprived EEG and video EEG both as options with the neurologist.

OK, so that is an initial answer….

Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. When you are ready, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you explain "odd temporal lobe seizures" further?
Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.

Temporal lobe seizures often do not follow the typical seizure symptoms.

And can have many odd symptoms that are atypical of seizure.

please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is anything I described like a temporal lobe seizure?
Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.

Staring off into space


phantom smells,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
in your medical opinion, my beating has caused my seizures?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Assuming my EEG and MRI come back negative.
Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.

In my opinion, you don't likely have seizures at all.

However, that is not 100%, and you need the testing, as your neurologist is doing.

There is no way at all for us to say what caused your seizures.

That would be for your neurologist, but most seizure causes are never found.

Assuming all of your tests are negative, it is more likely psychiatric.

please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do people suffering from PTSD have any neurological signs or symptoms closely related to what I've described?
Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.

Yes, although there is often another diagnosis as well, but that is for psychiatry to sort out.

They often have several diagnoses after an interview and testing.

Please click a positive at this point.

Then see my additional services offer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome anytime

Any questions.

Find me in medical by request as needed.

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Good luck.