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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1989 Dec;80(6):620-31.

Personality characteristics and epilepsy.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Patients with a long history of temporal lobe epilepsy or primary generalized epilepsy entered a questionnaire study of personality characteristics, based on a modification of the Bear-Fedio inventory for temporal lobe behavioural syndrome. Psoriasis patients and healthy volunteers served as controls. Four clinical meaningful dimensions of included personality traits were identified: ixoide, ideational, obsessive-compulsive and affective features. Analyses based on the Rasch model approved of all dimensions except for affective features. The epilepsy group obtained the highest scores on all 3 dimensions, healthy volunteers the lowest, while the psoriasis group repeatedly held an intermediate position in all sets of assessment (subjects, interviewers and relatives). A logistic regression analysis showed ixoide features being most important when the entire epilepsy group was compared with other study groups, while the dimension ideational features was significant when the temporal lobe epilepsy group was entered as target group and opposed to primary generalized epilepsy. The intermediate position of the psoriasis group, however, suggests that in addition to the presence of a cerebral dysfunction in the epilepsy group, the mere presence of a chronic disorder with potential social stigmatization influences personality.

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