Psychoses in drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy.
In the survey of 74 Danish patients with temporal lobe epilepsy who underwent temporal lobectomy, a total of 20 patients were psychotic. Nine of these became psychotic during the follow-up period, six of them after cessation of their epileptic seizures. There were 13 schizophrenia-like psychoses, six paranoid delusional and depressive psychoses, and one childhood psychosis. Operation was on the right side in 39 and on the left side in 35 patients. When the various psychotic groups were compared with each other or with the nonpsychotic patients, the side of operation was not found to be statistically important. The patients with psychoses were older at operation and showed a higher rate of focal lesions in the resected specimens. Although more psychotic patients were bright or normally gifted, and had achieved a higher standard of schooling than nonpsychotic patients, their social status after operation was inferior. Surgery had no effect on psychosis present preoperatively nor on its possible postoperative onset. The diagnosis of psychosis was not considered to be contraindication to temporal lobectomy.