Palinacousis (auditory perseveration) is a rarely reported symptom of temporal lobe dysfunction. We describe a new case. A 50-year-old woman presented with nausea, vomiting, and global dysphasia, followed by two generalized seizures. Examinations was otherwise normal, and computed tomography showed a small area of enhancement near the left sylvian fissure; there was a left temporal focus on the electroencephalogram. Treatment with phenytoin was instituted, and speech improved, with residual fluent dysphasia. Three days postically, the patient complained of 'echoing voices' in her right ear. Words or fragments of sentences recently uttered by the patient or others were perceived to recur unaltered for minutes to hours. Sounds other than speech were also affected. One week later the voices had disappeared, but a ticking sound was present; this also faded subsequently. The palinacousis never recurred; the patient was later found to have a Grade IV astrocytoma of the left temporal lobe, which caused her demise 8 months later. The features of this case are similar to those previously reported and favor an epileptic etiology. Palinacousis should be recognized as a sign of organic temporal lobe disease and not confused with manifestations of psychotic illness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology