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May 1966

Psychiatric Implications of Psychomotor Epilepsy

Author Affiliations

From the University of Oregon School of Medicine, Portland, Ore.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(5):461-471. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730110013003

IN THE course of previous investigations designed to identify more specifically the nature of mental aberrations peculiar to patients with psychomotor epilepsy, we were not a little surprised to find that our psychological and psychiatric evaluations failed to differentiate psychomotor from nonpsychomotor seizure patients who were otherwise matched for age, sex, seizure frequency, general intelligence, and economic background.1

In a second study undertaken with different techniques, patients, and collaborators, only one measure significantly differentiated a group of psychomotor epilepsy patients from subjects with "centrencephalic" grand and petit mal seizures. This test, a continuous performance task, indicated that the "centrencephalic" group performed less well than did the psychomotor patients.2 Although our findings are consistent with those of the few other controlled studies that appear in the literature,3-5 our conclusions, namely that the psychomotor epilepsies are not associated with an

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