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Epilepsy Behav. 2007 Sep;11(2):218-21. Epub 2007 Jul 2.

Neuropsychiatric aspects of patients with hypothalamic hamartomas.

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Epilepsy Centre Kempenhaeghe, Heeze, The Netherlands.


Hypothalamic hamartomas (HH) are developmental malformations that are associated with gelastic seizures, other types of seizures, cognitive decline, and symptoms related to hypothalamic dysfunction. Although aggressive behavior is frequently described, data on the neuropsychiatric profile are limited. In this article, five patients with HH are described who displayed a wide variety of psychiatric symptoms that, dependent on the time frame, met the criteria for several categorical diagnoses. Major neuropsychiatric symptoms comprised aggression that is only partial context dependent, compulsive behavior, psychotic symptoms not responding to treatment, and organic mood instability. HH should therefore be considered a neuropsychiatric syndrome with a highly variable expression that can be best captured by a thorough description of behaviors, symptoms, sequelae of epilepsy, and hypothalamic dysfunction.

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