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December 1964

Behavior Disorders of Children With Cerebral Dysrhythmias: Successful Treatment of Subconvulsive Dysrhythmia With Anticonvulsants

Author Affiliations

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Illinois, and Consultant, Fox Valley Mental Health Clinic (Dr. Gross); Senior Consultant, Fox Valley Mental Health Clinic (Dr. Wilson).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(6):610-619. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720300040006

For many decades, after psychoanalytic investigations revealed the important effects of early environmental influences on the personality development of children, there has been a tendency to assume that behavior problems in children stem primarily from parental mishandling, and treatment has been directed to psychotherapy for the child, or parents, or both. The success of this approach has tended to obscure the importance of another kind of environmental influence, namely the internal milieu of the central nervous system. With the advent of the electroencephalogram (EEG) as a new diagnostic tool, there has been increased interest in the general relationship of organic brain disease and behavior disorders. In 1955, Ounsted,1 in discussing epileptic children, listed the following signs manifested in the behavior of "brain-injured children."

1. Distractibility

2. Short attention span

3. Wide scatter on the test results when given formal intelligence tests

4. Fluctuation