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September 1962

Are Psychomotor Epileptics Different?A Controlled Study

Author Affiliations

Present address: Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo. (Dr. Small).; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Dr. Small); Public Health Service Fellow of the NINDB (Dr. Milstein); Assistant Professor of Neurology (Dr. Stevens).; From the Divisions of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Oregon Medical School, Portland, Oregon. This investigation supported by Public Health Service Grant No. B-1140 C and a Neurology Training Grant of the NINDB. This paper was presented in part at the American EEG Society, June, 1961.

Arch Neurol. 1962;7(3):187-194. doi:10.1001/archneur.1962.04210030025004

Introduction  The significance of mental disorders appearing in patients with psychomotor epilepsy is a matter of current discussion and investigation. Whether such psychiatric illnesses are to be considered as part of the syndrome of temporal lobe epilepsy or whether these disorders actually do occur more often in individuals with this kind of epilepsy is not clear. Particular interest in this subject often arises in criminal proceedings involving the responsibility of persons with psychomotor epilepsy. Moreover, the presence of severe psychopathology has recently been given as an indication for surgery in temporal lobe epilepsy.2,8,15 Still more provocative is the possibility that study of psychomotor epilepsy may lead to definition of electrophysiological factors of etiologic relevance to some mental disorders.The bulk of the literature on this subject indicates a highly significant association of psychiatric illness in patients with psychomotor or temporal lobe epilepsy. In their Atlas of Electroencephalography, Gibbs and