Childhood epilepsy and schizophrenia: Clinical and EEC features during follow-up of two patients

L. Radice, C. Marino, M. Nobile, C. Carbonara, C. Zucca

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Introduction Recent neuropathological and neuroimaging studies in schizophrenia (S) have identified structural and neurochemical abnormalities in the temporal lobe of schizophrenic patients. The association between temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and S has been first described 40 years ago; the precise nature of the link between the two diseases remains to be found. We examined clinical history and EEC features of two 16-year-old girls affected by cryptogenic TLE during childhood; they both later developed S. Case reports Seizure disorders began at the age of 3 and 11 years, respectively. The patients experienced simple and complex partial seizures, and sometimes secondarily generalised seizures. Seizure frequency was for the first patient one or more per year and for the second one, 2-5 per month. EEG demonstrated in the first case interictal spikes and sharp waves over central and temporal areas, with rnild left predominance; in the second patient left temporal sharp waves were recorded, sometimes spreading to the right during sleep. Neuroimaging examinations were normal. Seizure control was achieved with polytherapy at 11 and 13 years of age, respectively. After a seizure-free period of two years, treatment was successfully tapered. Aged 14 years, these patients developed psychotic symptoms and displayed chronic schizophrenia. Conclusions Our observation confirms the link between S and TLE with preferential involvement of left temporal lobe, as proposed by several previous studies. The most striking feature that distinguished our cases is the chronological evolution of the illness studied with a systematic long-term follow-up. In addition, some clinical and electroencephalographic features of epilepsy might suggest an age-related syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354
Number of pages1
JournalItalian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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