Psychiatric disturbances in epilepsy: some contribution of 19th century French neuropsychiatrists Volume 14, issue 1, Mars 2002

Clinique Neurologique, CHU Bretonneau, 37044 Tours cedex.

The links between epilepsy and psychopathology have been studied by French physicians working in asylums in the 19th century. Some clinical descriptions could be considered today as "psychotic" manifestations. Morel recognised the so-called concept of épilepsie larvée in which patients with epilepsy show psychic and behavioral disturbances rather than convulsions. Religious epileptic delirium has specifically been studied by Dupain. These studies have a great nosological importance way: epilepsies were considered as a model of mental diseases with short duration. The personality changes of epileptic patients as well as the poor outcome of the disease (epileptic dementia) represent interictal findings.