Psychotic illness in patients with epilepsy

Kousuke Kanemoto, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Aichi Medical University, Nagakute, Aichi, Japan;
Corresponding author.
Copyright © The Author(s), 2012


Apart from the rather rare ictal psychotic events, such as non-convulsive status epilepticus, modern epileptic psychoses have been categorized into three main types; chronic and acute interictal psychoses (IIPs) and postictal psychosis (PIP). Together, they comprise 95% of psychoses in patients with epilepsy (PWE). Four major questions, that is, “Is psychosis in PWE a direct consequence of epilepsy or schizophrenia induced by epilepsy?”, “Is psychosis in PWE homogeneous or heterogeneous?”, “Does psychosis in PWE have symptomatological differences from schizophrenia and related disorders?”, “Is psychosis in PWE uniquely associated with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE)?” are tried to be answered in this review with relevant case presentations. In the final section, we propose a tentative classification of psychotic illness in PWE, with special attention to those who have undergone epilepsy surgery. Psychotic disorders in PWE are often overlooked, mistreated, and consequently lingering on needlessly. While early diagnosis is unanimously supported as a first step to avoid this delay, necessity of switching from antiepileptic drugs with supposedly adverse psychotopic effects. to others is more controversial. To elucidate the riddle of alternative psychosis, we need badly further reliable data.

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