Gustatory hallucinations occurred as a manifestation of parietal, temporal or temporoparietal seizures in 30 (4%) of 718 patients investigated for intractable epilepsy by stereoelectroencephalographic exploration at the Unite de Recherches 97, Inserm, et Service de Neurochirurgie de l’Hopital Sainte-Anne, Paris. Theelectrically-induced seizures which included a gustatory hallucination in 20 patients were obtained by stimulation of the hippocampus and amygdala. The associated ictal events varied with the origin of the seizure: (1) during parietal seizures, they consisted of staring, clonic facial contractions, deviation of eyes and salivation, (2) during temporal lobe seizures, there were oral movements, autonomic disturbances, purposeless movements and epigastric or other abdominal symptoms. Gustatory hallucinations were related to the disorganization of the parietal and/or rolandic operculum. The seizure onset was at a mean age of 9.7 yrs (2-34 yrs) and the gustatory manifestations appeared at a mean age of 14.5 yrs (2-34 yrs). [1]

COMMENT: Children with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy should be considered for neurosurgical treatment. Deterioration of behaviour in a school-age child with complex partial seizures carries a poor prognosis if surgery is delayed. Reversal of social, intellectual, and character deficits associated with temporal lobe epilepsy may be expected after operation. [2]

Gustatory hallucinations elicited by a careful history may be helpful in the cortical localization of the seizure discharge. In my experience, this manifestation of temporal lobe seizures is rare in children but nonetheless important to consider.