Ego functions in epilepsy

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A S Sørensen, H Hansen, H Høgenhaven, T G Bolwig

Two groups of epilepsy patients (28 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and 15 patients with primary generalized epilepsy) entered a study of personality traits related to epilepsy, based on a modification of Bellak's semistructured interview for assessment of ego strength. Two groups of subjects served as controls: 15 patients with a non-neurological but relapsing disorder, psoriasis, and 15 healthy volunteers. Compared with the group of healthy volunteers, a decreased adaptive level of ego functioning was found in the epilepsy groups, regardless of seizure types and EEG findings, and, to a lesser extent, compared with the psoriasis group. Areas of ego functioning most affected were "reality testing", "cognitive functioning", "integrative functioning" and "regulation and control of drives". Patients with more than one type of seizure were the most affected, as were patients who were younger than 15 years when the disease began. The number of anticonvulsants administered did not influence the results. No difference on adaptive level of ego functioning was found between the group with primary generalized epilepsy and the group with temporal lobe epilepsy. Similarly, the temporal lobe epilepsy group with predominantly right-sided and left-sided EEG changes, respectively, showed similar adaptive levels of ego functioning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)211-21
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ID: 48431753