Postictal psychosis after partial complex seizures: a multiple case study

G Savard, F Andermann, A Olivier, G M Rémillard
Epilepsia 1991, 32 (2): 225-31
Bouts of unusually frequent partial complex seizures originating in the temporal lobe, that sometimes became secondarily generalized, induced psychotic episodes in 9 patients. In 7, the increase in seizures occurred at a time when antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) were being reduced during intensive EEG monitoring with a view to surgical treatment of intractable epilepsy. According to DSM-III-R criteria, the postictal psychosis resembled an organic delusional syndrome which was paranoid in 7 and schizophreniform in 1 and an organic mood syndrome in 1. A high incidence of ictal fear, of bilateral independent epileptogenic discharge, and of small foreign tissue lesion were unexpected findings and appeared to represent risk factors, especially in patients otherwise handicapped by an epileptic personality disorder. Recognition of postictal psychosis in this setting and in others is important both prognostically and therapeutically. Postictal psychosis does not constitute a contraindication to surgical treatment of epilepsy.

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