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January 1982

Interictal Behavior Abnormality in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: A Specific Syndrome or Nonspecific Psychopathology?

Author Affiliations

From the Neurobehavioral Clinic, University of California, Los Angeles, Center for the Health Sciences.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(1):108-111. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290010080014

• Two studies examine the degree to which the traits measured by the Bear and Fedio personality inventory are specific to temporal lobe epilepsy. In the first study, none of the 18 traits discriminated among a group of temporal lobe epileptics with behavioral-psychiatric disorders, a group of patients with concomitant neurological and behavioral-psychiatric disorders, and a group of patients with psychiatric but not neurological illness. The second study demonstrated that a very large percentage of variance in the traits can be accounted for by presence or absence of psychiatric illness. The results of these two studies suggest that previously reported differences between temporal lobe epileptics and normals on these trait variables reflect underlying differences in degree of nonspecific psychopathology and do not necessarily indicate the presence of a specific behavioral syndrome in temporal lobe epilepsy.

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