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September 1970

Severe Psychiatric Disorders of Childhood: Electroencephalogram and Clinical Correlates

Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore
From the Children's Unit of the Metropolitan State Hospital, Waltham, Mass (Dr. Stevens); and the Division of Neurology, University of Oregon Medical School, Portland, Ore (Drs. Stevens and Milstein).

Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(3):182-192. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100080066002

One hundred children hospitalized in the Metropolitan State Hospital for severe psychiatric disturbances were examined by electroencephalogram. Results were statistically correlated with neurologic, psychologic, historic and sociologic data, and compared with similar information derived from evaluation of children from the outpatient clinic with hyperkinetic behavior disorders and with normal controls. Of the children hospitalized for psychiatric disturbances, 42% had abnormal EEGs; only three had epileptic seizures. Abnormal response to photic stimulation and a history of serious medical illness in childhood were much more common in these institutionalized children than in the hyperkinetic group. Statistically significant relationships are demonstrated between specific regional and wave-form abnormalities in the EEG and certain clinical manifestations of the psychiatric disorder. A significant relationship between environmental stress and the psychiatric disturbance was found only for children with abnormal EEGs.

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