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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Sep;36(9):1286-94.

Formal thought disorder and psychopathology in pediatric primary generalized and complex partial epilepsy.

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Department of Psychiatry, UCLA, USA.



To examine whether formal thought disorder and psychopathology occurred in children with complex partial seizures (CPS) rather than children with primary generalized epilepsy with absences (PGE) or nonepileptic children.


Formal thought disorder was coded in 30 children with CPS, 24 children with PGE, and 61 nonepileptic children, and structured interview-based psychiatric diagnoses were obtained for the epileptic subjects.


The CPS subjects had significantly more illogical thinking than the PGE and nonepileptic children. The severity of their illogical thinking was related to global cognitive dysfunction and a schizophrenia-like psychosis. Age of onset and seizure control, however, were significantly associated with the severity of illogical thinking in the PGE group. One or more psychiatric diagnoses were found in 63% of the CPS and 54% of the PGE patients, particularly if they had global cognitive deficits.


Illogical thinking, associated with cognitive dysfunction or schizophrenia-like symptoms, might be a feature of pediatric CPS. Psychopathology might be related to global cognitive dysfunction in pediatric CPS and PGE.

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