Abdominal Epilepsy: Causes, Symptoms
There are many medical causes of abdominal pain; abdominal epilepsy is one of the rare causes. Although abdominal epilepsy is diagnosed most often in children, the research of Peppercorn and Herzog (1989) suggests that abdominal epilepsy may be much more common in adults than is generally recognized.
Symptoms of abdominal epilepsy — Abdominal epilepsy is an uncommon syndrome in which there are gastrointestinal disturbances, e.g.
- abdominal pain,
- the “aura” as it is common in certain types of epilepsy,
- bloating, and
- diarrhea with nervous system manifestations such as headache, dullness, confusion, and partial or complete loss of consciousness with interruption of awareness of oneself and ones surroundings,
- in combination with epileptiform seizure activity seen on EEG tracing.
Although abdominal symptoms of abdominal epilepsy may be similar to those of the irritable bowel syndrome, it may as such be distinguished from it by the presence of altered consciousness during some of the attacks, a tendency toward tiredness after an attack, and by an abnormal EEG.
The “aura”, a common factor in certain types of epilepsy — For example, temporal lobe epileptic seizures frequently begin with an “aura”. An “aura” is actually a mild seizure, which precedes the primary seizure. It can be thought of as a warning that a seizure is about to happen. It can be thought of as a warning that a seizure is about to happen. Most often, auras manifest as an altered consciousness or peculiar sensation. “The most common aura is of vague gastric distress, ascending up into the chest”. Some of the studies regard cyclic vomiting as a primary symptom of abdominal epilepsy manifesting as simple partial seizures.
One of the primary problems in understanding abdominal epilepsy is clearly defining the relationship of the abdominal symptoms to the seizure activity in the brain.
Temporal lobe seizure activity may lead to abdominal epilepsy — Temporal lobe seizure activity usually arises in or involves the amygdala. Patients who have the temporal lobe seizures may have gastrointestinal symptoms, since discharges arising in the amygdala can be transmitted to the gut via dense direct projections to the dorsal motor nucleus of the nervus vagus. In addition, sympathetic pathways from the amygdala to the gastrointestinal tract can be activated via the hypothalamus.
REDISCOVERY OF THE LEYDIG GLAND
Hypothesis — Rediscovery and research of the Leydig gland will provide insights into psychological processes, especially psychopathology (Edgar Cayce).
Leydig gland — Franz Von Leydig was a famous and well-respected biologist who discovered the cells of Leydig in 1850 and the Leydig gland in 1892. The cells of Leydig are interstitial cells located primarily in the reproductive glands and are best known for the production of testosterone. In words of Von Leydig, the Leydig gland is located in the mesonephros tissue in vertebrates. Von Leydig thought its role was to stimulate movement of spermatozoa.
Von Leydig’s discoveries laid dormant for decades as it was almost 100 years before medical science rediscovered the cells of Leydig. Although there are hundreds of articles on Medline documenting the functions of these cells. The Leydig gland has yet to be rediscovered.
Edgar Cayce’s reading — Edgar Cayce describes the Leydig gland as a small gland lying above the reproductive organs. One time, he said “the Leydig gland (which is normally about the size of a small pea) had become engorged to the size of a Wren’s egg”. The person was suffering from schizophrenia. Edgar Cayce desciribes its pathology as (sometimes) being associated with psychiatric and neurological conditions such as schizophrenia, manic-depressive disorder, and epilepsy. Edgar Cayce also linked the Leydig gland to psychological and spiritual development and functioning.