Project: Research project

Project Details


There has been longstanding controversy concerning behavioral or
personality characteristics associated with epilepsy, and more recently,
with temporal lobe epilepsy in particular. While there are numerous
clinical reports of specific behavior syndromes associated with temporal
lobe epilepsy, controlled research has generally failed to support their
existence. Contributing to this controversy is a lack of adequate
definition of the specific behavior patterns being attributed to temporal
lobe epilepsy, and as a result, a lack of quantitative methodology for
identifying those patterns, making it difficult to determine if temporal
lobe epileptics do indeed have a greater incidence of such behavior than do
other groups. The purpose of this study is to empirically identify
homogeneous subgroups of epileptics who manifest specific patterns of
behavioral or personality characteristics. A general sample of outpatient
epileptics will be administered several personality inventories designed
for use with psychopathological and normal populations, and more
specifically, temporal lobe epileptics. Subjects will also participate in
a structured interview from which several characteristics purported to be
central to the temporal lobe epilepsy behavioral syndrome will be rated and
ratings of current, major psychiatric symptoms will be made. These
variables will then be used as the basis for a cluster analysis procedure
to identify groups of epileptics who are homogeneous with respect to
specific patterns of behavior or personality. These groups can then be
compared on other variables in order to identify the correlates of those
behavior patterns in epileptics. In particular, they can be compared on
seizure parameter variables in order to determine if temporal lobe
epileptics have differential prevalence of specific behavioral syndromes in
comparison to non-temporal lobe epileptics, and to determine if other
relevant parameters of the seizure disorders are associated with different
behavior patterns. The results of this study can also be used as the basis
for developing a quantitative method for identifying and defining specific
patterns of behavior in epilepsy that can then be used in further
research. Research of this nature may have considerable clinical value in
providing a better characterization of the kinds of behavior associated
with epilepsy, allowing for more definitive estimates of the incidence of
behavior abnormalities in epilepsy. Results of this study may also have
significance for delineating the relationship between brain mechanisms and
abnormal behavior.
Effective start/end date5/1/8510/31/86


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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