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Epilepsy 

Epilepsy
Chapter:
Epilepsy
Author(s):

Brian Toone

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199696758.003.0139
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date: 25 August 2019

An epileptic seizure has been defined as ‘a clinical manifestation presumed to result from an abnormal and excessive discharge of a set of neurones in the brain’. A diagnosis of epilepsy applies with the recurrence of two or more discrete and unprovoked seizures (febrile and neonatal seizures are excluded from this definition). Epilepsy is one of the more common neurological disorders. It carries with it a greater psychiatric morbidity than is to be found in other neurological disorders of comparable severity. Many of its manifestations resemble and may be confused with psychiatric phenomenology. It is often associated with learning difficulties; it may be a manifestation of acquired brain damage or disease; seizures may occur in the course of substance abuse or be caused by psychiatric treatment. For these and for many other reasons psychiatrists should be familiar with epilepsy, its manifold aetiologies, presentations, and treatment.

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