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September 1953

EFFECTS OF INTENSIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY ON EPILEPTIC CHILDRENReport on Three Children with Idiopathic Epilepsy

Author Affiliations

CHICAGO

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training, Michael Reese Hospital and the National Institute of Mental Health, Public Health Service, United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bethesda, Md.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1953;70(3):361-384. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1953.02320330086008
Abstract

THE PSYCHIATRIC study of genuine epilepsy has produced information which strongly suggests that psychologic factors play a role in the elaboration or exacerbation of epileptic phenomena. The literature on psychopathology of epilepsy has been thoroughly reviewed elsewhere.1 Various studies, mostly clinical, have led to the development and elaboration of hypotheses concerning the psychobiological functions of both the aura2 and the seizure manifestations.3

If psychopathological hypotheses of the origin of the epileptic syndrome have some basis in fact, there should be a possibility through psychologic means of modifying the frequency and/or form of the seizures in certain epileptic patients. The neurophysiological correlates of epileptogenic phenomena, such as the electroencephalogram, may possibly also be modifiable through psychologic means. Barker and Barker4 and others, for instance, have collected evidence that exploratory psychologic investigations may modify the cerebral bioelectric activity of known epileptic patients. They have interviewed epileptic subjects during

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