The phenomenology of multiple partial seizure-like symptoms without stereotyped spells: an epilepsy spectrum disorder? Journal Article uri icon



  • Consistent with previous reports by neuropsychiatrists, the results of the present investigation confirmed the existence of a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by the subjective experiencing of multiple cognitive, affective, and psychosensory phenomena similar to those associated with more classic partial seizure disorders. According to the literature, such patients typically respond favorably to anticonvulsants although they lack the customary motor manifestations of complex partial seizure (CPS) disorders and typically do not have stereotyped spells. This neuropsychiatric syndrome has recently been termed epilepsy spectrum disorder (ESD). In the present study, 30 patients with ESD were matched with equal numbers of treatment-refractory CPS patients and normal controls. All subjects were administered a standardized interview consisting of 35 cognitive, affective, and psychosensory partial seizure-like symptoms. The results indicated that ESD patients endorsed significantly more partial seizure-like symptoms than did CPS patients and controls. Relatively low levels of symptom endorsement by an unmatched psychiatric comparison sample indicated that the high levels of symptom endorsement by ESD patients could not be attributed to the presence of psychiatric dysfunction per se. Analysis of responding to 'foil' items unrelated to partial seizures indicated that high levels of symptom endorsement by ESD patients did not merely reflect a deviant response. Although ESD patients seldom present themselves at tertiary care epilepsy centers, the study of such patients is likely to be of relevance to mainstream epileptology.

publication date

  • November 1, 1992

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • October 30, 2013 3:09 AM

Full Author List

  • Roberts RJ; Gorman LL; Lee GP; Hines ME; Richardson ED; Riggle TA; Varney NR

author count

  • 7

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0920-1211

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 167

end page

  • 177


  • 13


  • 2