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Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
June 2003

Q. I grew up with epilepsy, but when I hit adolescence, the seizures stopped. They were temporal lobe seizures. I have always asked the question about the relationship of it and bipolar disorder, yet have had no answers. Is there any literature I can look at to do some research?

A. Epilepsy affects 2 million Americans. Temporal lobe epilepsy, also known as complex partial seizures, is the most common type, accounting for 50% of epilepsy patients. This typically causes periods lasting 1-2 minutes in which the patient is awake but unaware of his surroundings. This period is often accompanied by some unusual motor activity such as lip smacking. In some patients, the temporal lobe seizure can be followed by a grand mal seizure. Epilepsy patients have a higher rate of depression than found in the non-epilepsy population, but the bipolar rate are about the same.



medical article (available through a hospital or medical school library):

CNS Drugs 2002;16(5):291-302

Mood disorders in patients with epilepsy: epidemiology and management. Harden CL, Goldstein MA. Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA. clharden@med.cornell.edu

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