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Patients with organic brain disease often present with psychiatric symptoms that closely mimic functional mental illness. This has major implications in Third-World countries where the psychiatric effects of physical disease are particularly widespread. Developing countries lack the advanced radiological investigations and other diagnostic facilities that may help to differentiate between functional and physical complaints. The association between electro-encephalographic (EEG) abnormalities and organic brain disease is well established; the benefit and importance of the EEG in ThirdWorld psychiatry is described.