Schizophrenia-Like Psychosis and Epilepsy: The Status of the Relationship
The term psychosis must be strictly and narrowly defined in any analysis. Some of the problems in the literature relate to varying definitions of psychosis. For this analysis, only psychosis with predominantly schizophreniform features and occurring in clear consciousness are included.
It must be appreciated that both epilepsy and schizophrenia are heterogeneous disorders. The question is, therefore, the relationship between which epilepsy and what kind of psychosis?
The similarity between temporal lobe phenomena and psychotic symptoms does not necessarily mean that they have a common origin.
The two themes that have dominated psychiatric thought on the association are (1) they occur together more often than chance (“affinity”) and (2) they are “antagonistic” to each other. These seemingly incompatible observations must be reconciled.
The epileptic brain is not normal between clinical seizures. The association is with epilepsy and not seizures alone. Moreover, epilepsy is not a static process, and the brain of the epileptic patient is undergoing structural and neurochemical change, before and after the development of seizures, to which ictal events actually contribute (Engel 1996). The same is probably true for schizophrenia (Olney and Farber 1995).
KeywordsTemporal Lobe Epilepsy Epileptic Patient Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Patient Clear Consciousness Schizophrenic Brain
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