vol. 1, num. 1, 2003

Dissociative Phenomena. Questions and Answers.

Editors: Mario Di Fiorino and Maria Luisa Figueira

Clinical EEG and Dissociation

Nashaat N. Boutros

Clinical EEG and Dissociation

Summary. Dissociative phenomena like multiple personality disorders, fugue states and even panic attacks remain enigmatic. These disorders bare some similarities to complex partial seizure episodes, particularly of temporal and may be frontal lobe origins. Given the serious diagnostic, therapeutic, prognostic and stigma-related implications of the different diagnostic possibilities it is imperative that the possibility that an epileptic cerebral activity may be contributing to the dissociative syndrome should be confidently ruled out before a functional diagnosis can be confidently established. This approach is in agreement with the DSM-IV requirement of ruling-out any general medical condition contribution to a mental illness prior to assigning a more functional diagnosis
The Author notes that the presence of a demonstrable EEG abnormality might help the patient and their families to become more comfortable with the diagnosis and more accepting to treatment. This would have even a larger impact if structural brain abnormalities were identified.

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