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South African Medical Journal

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Neuropsychological Research Approaches in the Epilepsies

GK Nelson

Abstract


The contributions of electro-encephalography to neurology and neurosurgery have tended to overshadow its value for the neuropsychologist as a tool for the study of instability of brain function in relation to the epilepsies and the borderlands of epilepsy. Studies of criminal behaviour have shown a high incidence of epilepsy and abnormal EEGs among murderers and some psychopaths, but no simple link between the epilepsies and criminal behaviour has been demonstrated. Alcohol has been shown not only to change the dominant frequency of the EEG but also to produce epileptic-type EEG discharges in some subjects, suggestive of brief disturbances of consciousness. Temporal lobe dysfunction as reflected in the EEG has been found in psychic mediums and in many members  of a sample drawn from a low-intelligence isolated community, possibly a genetic trait in the latter case. A new project is aimed at studying the contingent negative variation in relation to epilepsy and to anticonvulsant ·medication.

S. Afr. Med. J., 48, 657 (1974)



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