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July 18, 1977

Complex Partial Seizures vs Schizophrenia

JAMA. 1977;238(3):210-211. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280030018003

To the Editor.—  I read with interest Adebimpe's article "Complex Partial Seizures Simulating Schizophrenia" (237:1339-1341, 1977). After thinking further about this case report, I suggest that his article might just have well been entitled "Schizophrenia Simulating Complex Partial Seizures."While much of the patient's story is admittedly not wholly typical of schizophrenia, neither is it typical for the usual case of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), now designated "complex partial seizures." In the more usual case of TLE, the symptomatology is not so "complex" as the name might imply; while there may be bizarre psychic symptoms, the movements are usually quite stereotyped and repetitive and never goal-directed. The episodes are usually brief, and temporal lobe or "psychomotor status" (to which the article refers) is extremely rare.Even though numerous normal or artefact-ladden EEGs were mentioned, the author never states whether sleep recordings were performed. After all, sleep is quite effective in