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Epilepsy Behav. 2006 Nov;9(3):407-14. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

An investigation of religiosity and the Gastaut-Geschwind syndrome in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N3BG, UK. <>


We examined the religious experiences of 28 patients with epilepsy and religiosity, 22 patients with epilepsy and no expressed interest in religion, and 30 volunteer regular churchgoers. We profiled the experiences of the first group, revealing more of their phenomenology, but also their bipolarity, and demonstrated that members of the religious group were significantly more likely to have had past episodes of postictal psychosis, and to have bilateral cerebral dysfunction. We added further data to support the validity of the Bear-Fedio Inventory, and noted that although the experiences of patients with epilepsy are different in content and intensity from the experiences of regular churchgoers, the patients with epilepsy and religiosity conform to those who William James referred to as having, with respect to religion, "an acute fever."

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