Geschwind syndrome

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Geschwind syndrome, also known as Gastaut-Geschwind, is a group of behavioral phenomena evident in some people with temporal lobe epilepsy. It is named for one of the first individuals to categorize the symptoms, Norman Geschwind, who published prolifically on the topic from 1973 to 1984.[1] There is controversy surrounding whether it is a true neuropsychiatric disorder.[2] Temporal lobe epilepsy causes chronic, mild, interictal (i.e. between seizures) changes in personality, which slowly intensify over time.[1] Geschwind syndrome includes five primary changes; hypergraphia, hyperreligiosity, atypical (usually reduced) sexuality, circumstantiality, and intensified mental life.[3] Not all symptoms must be present for a diagnosis.[2]

Only a subset of people with epilepsy in general and temporal lobe epilepsy in particular present with features of Geschwind syndrome[4] and a recent review concluded that the evidence for a link between temporal lobe epilepsy and hyperreligiosity "isn't terribly compelling."[5]

Features

Hypergraphia

Hypergraphia is the tendency for extensive and compulsive writing, and has been observed in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy patients who have had multiple seizures.[6] Those with hypergraphia have extreme attention to detail in their writing. Some patients keep diaries and write down meticulous details about their everyday lives. In certain cases, the writing of patients has demonstrated extreme interest in religious topics. Also, these individuals tend to have poor penmanship. The novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky showed symptoms of Geschwind syndrome, including hypergraphia.[7]

Hyperreligiosity

Some individuals may exhibit increased, usually intense, religious feelings and philosophical interests,[8] and partial (temporal lobe) epilepsy patients with frequent numinous-like auras have greater ictal and interictal spirituality.[9] Some seizures include ecstatic experiences.[10] It has been reported that many religious leaders exhibit this form of epilepsy.[11][12] These religious feelings can motivate beliefs within any religion, including Voodoo,[13] Christianity, Islam,[14] and others. There are reports of patients converting between religions.[15] A few patients internalize their religious feelings: when asked if they are religious they say they are not.[16]

Atypical sexuality

People with Geschwind syndrome reported higher rates of atypical or altered sexuality.[17] In approximately half of individuals hyposexuality (i.e. decreased libido) is reported.[18][19] Cases of hypersexuality have also been reported.[20]

Circumstantiality

Individuals that demonstrate circumstantiality (or Viscosity) tend to continue conversations for a long time and talk receptively.[21]

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Benson, D. F. (1991). "The Geschwind syndrome". Advances in neurology. 55: 411–21. PMID 2003418.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  4. Benson, D.F. & Hermann, B.P. (1998) Personality disorders. In J. Engel Jr. & T.A. Pedley (Eds.) Epilepsy: A comprehensive textbook. Vol. II (pp.2065–2070). Philadelphia: Lippincott–Raven.
  5. Craig Aaen-Stockdale (2012). "Neuroscience for the Soul". The Psychologist. 25 (7): 520–523.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  14. Stephen, M.D. Salloway (1997). "The Neural Substrates of Religious Experience". The Neuropsychiatry of Limbic and Subcortical Disorders. American Psychiatric Publications. ISBN 0880489421.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  18. Harden, Cynthia L (2006). "Sexuality in men and women with epilepsy". CNS spectrums. 11 (8 Suppl 9): 13–8. PMID 16871133.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  21. Devinsky, Orrin; Vorkas, Charles; Barr, William (2006). "Personality disorders in epilepsy". Psychiatric Issues in Epilepsy: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 078178591X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>