Psychiatric Aspects of Intractable Epilepsy

  • Dietrich Blumer
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 497)


Epilepsy is a cerebral disorder with both major neurologic and major psychiatric aspects. An earlier era—which was marked by predominant awareness of distinctive psychiatric aspects of intractable epilepsy—has been followed by the modern era which is marked by remarkable progress in the neurologic understanding of all forms of epilepsy, but deemphasis of the psychiatric aspects of the disorder. Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, however, the most prominent chronic and often intractable form of epilepsy, requires a unified approach by the disciplines of neurology and psychiatry. Recent neuropsychiatric findings suggest that the psychiatric complications of epilepsy are: 1) of a specific nature; 2) result from the gradual development of inhibitory mechanisms in chronic mesial temporal epilepsy; and 3) tend to be surprisingly well treatable by proconvulsant antidepressive medications. The present chapter will review the evidence—both historical and recentrelated to the psychiatric morbidity associated with intractable epilepsy and discuss the symptoms and treatment of this condition.


Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Psychiatric Morbidity Intractable Epilepsy Complex Partial Seizure Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietrich Blumer
    • 1
  1. 1.MemphisUSA

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