Confused about seizures

William Calvin wcalvin at
Mon Jan 16 15:58:30 EST 1995

dhe at (David) writes:

>I got this information from a chapter by Vernon M. Neppe and Gary
>J. Tucker in _The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of
>Neuropsychiatry_ (second edition, 1992), and from Jeffrey L.
>Cummings' _Clinical Neuropsychiatry_ (1985).
>Reminder: I'm not an expert.  There are probably places where this
>post should be corrected.


Good summary.  There are seizures that aren't classed with epilepsy, such 
as those due to metabolic problems (e.g., liver failure) or drug 
reactions.  There are some such as the febrile seizures of early 
childhood that don't seem to repeat again (but which may have 
implications for things like temporal lobe epilepsy developing later in 
	The treatments are mostly medical (about 75% can be controlled) 
though there is a substantial population which are surgical candidates 
(both because of tumors and because of an epileptic focus in an area that 
can be safely removed).  George Ojemann and I just wrote a popular book 
on brain mechanisms that uses an epilepsy operation as the focal point 
for a tour of the brain.  It's CONVERSATIONS WITH NEIL'S BRAIN:  The 
Neural Nature of Thought and Language (Addison-Wesley 1994) and the table 
of contents and first chapter are available via Web browsers.  Just point to

   William H. Calvin 
   University of Washington, NJ-15
   Seattle WA 98195 USA
    WCalvin at

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