Psychosis of Epilepsy: A Neurologist's Perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Psychosis of epilepsy (POE) comprises a group of disorders that are closely associated with epileptic seizures. These include interictal POE, postictal psychosis, and alternative psychosis (also known as "forced normalization"). Neurologists have, in general, played a limited role in the evaluation and management of patients with POE. Yet, as reviewed in this paper, a good understanding of electrophysiologic, neuroradiologic, and neuropathologic variables associated with POE can yield valuable data in the evaluation of the seizure disorder of these patients. The purpose of this review article is to highlight the clinical, neuroradiologic, neurophysiologic, and neuropathologic aspects of POE that can assist in the evaluation and management of the associated seizure disorder and to identify the circumstances in which a timely therapeutic intervention by neurologists can avert or minimize the occurrence of a psychotic episode. Specifically, the clinical characteristics of interictal POE and ictal, postictal, and alternative psychotic episodes are highlighted together with their potential pathogenic mechanisms and the associated treatment issues. Finally, discussions of psychotic disorders following epilepsy surgery and the pharmacotherapy of psychotic disorders in patients with epilepsy are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Psychosis; epilepsy; schizophrenia; postictal psychosis; hamartomas; focal dysplasias; neuroleptic medication; forced normalization; electroconvulsive therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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