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The Neuropsychiatry of Epilepsy, Second Edition
Editors: Michael R. Trimble and Bettina Schmitz
Pages:  225   Hard Cover
ISBN 13:
Cambridge University Press  2012
List Price:  $99.00

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Medical Science Books .com Medical Book Review:

     The Neuropsychiatry of Epilepsy 2nd Edition provides an up to date review of the growing literature associating epilepsy with a group of conditions with dysfunctional psychiatric and cognitive functioning as their main features.  When the first edition was published back in 2002, although a need for such a title existed, there were many more gaps in the connection between epilepsy and neuropsychiatric functioning than there are today.  The first edition was a groundbreaking project made possible by astute forethought and careful assembly of expert contributors familiar with the growing literature.  Certainly, the strides made in the management of epilepsy patients and the improved sophistication of functional neuroanatomy studies are beginning to provide clarity to the structural and chemical basis of behavior. The number and quality of studies focused on the global functioning of patients with epilepsy as well as those analyzing syndromes and conditions of which epileptic seizure are a major component have increased greatly in the past several years.  Therefore, this second edition should prove even more useful to those caring for the overall needs of patients with epilepsy.

     The reader is introduced to the remarkable diversity in the manifestations of neuropsychiatric disorders that are present in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy or those with psychogenic symptoms.  Opening chapters are focused on the various periods of epileptic activity and the unique psychiatric issues occurring within different time points.  There is also a useful discussion of some major genetic disorders that have both cognitive impairments and epilepsy as common components.  The book concludes with a series of chapters that deal with the psychiatric effects of pharmaceuticals and surgical interventions used in the treatment of epilepsy. 

     Among the more novel research areas investigating the bridge between epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders is the growing field of social neuroscience.  This is covered thoroughly in the text within a chapter dedicated to various tests commonly used with patients to measure their ability to relate to other individuals on a basic level.  Basic concepts about social cognition are also covered in the chapter which makes reading about the tests and possible connections with epilepsy easier for those who donít have a firm background in the psychological literature. 

     This book will serve as an eye opener for those clinicians who are typically focused only on seizure control with their epilepsy patients.  Although the connection between psychoses and epilepsy is well known, far too often psychiatric diagnoses are missed and referral is left undone.  By the same token, readers caring for the psychiatric needs of patients will gain a fuller perspective of neurological diagnostics and treatment.  The progressive studies discussed in this book will, without doubt, facilitate patient management and improve quality of life.

Ratings (1-10 , 10 being the highest):

Overall Rating:


Authorís objectives met:



Organization of information: 8
Significant number of illustrations: 3
Suitable for intended audience: 8
Overall presentation: 8
Quality of illustrations: 6
Usefulness of book:   8
Value: 8
Writing style: 8


Description (From Publisher):

Research into the neuropsychiatry of epilepsy has become a central focus of interest in the last five years. Comorbidity of epilepsy with behavioral problems is now recognized widely, and the neuroscientific basis for such comorbidity is an active area of investigation. With an expanded international team of authors, this fully revised new edition builds on the strengths of its predecessor, examining in detail the subtleties of behavioral changes in patients with seizure disorders and offering both a diagnostic and a management perspective. New chapters cover genetic disorders, the effects of epilepsy on social behavior as viewed through theory of mind, a discussion of the precuneus, the importance and nature of peri-ictal psychiatric symptoms, depression and the interictal dysphoric disorder, and the relationship between antiepileptic drugs and suicide. This new edition is a must for anyone involved in diagnosing or managing epilepsy.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction Michael R. Trimble and Bettina Schmitz
2. Neuropsychiatric disorders in epilepsy Ė epidemiology and classification Dale C. Hesdorffer and E. S. Krishnamoorthy
3. Genetic disorders associated with intellectual disability Mike Kerr and Penny Blake
4. Epilepsy and autistic spectrum disorders Thierry Deonna and Eliane Roulet-Perez
5. Subtle cognitive and behavioral effects of epilepsy Frank M. C. Besag
6. Dementia and epilepsy Bernd Pohlmann-Eden and Marie-Aline Eden
7. Peri-ictal psychiatric phenomena Andres M. Kanner
8. Postictal psychoses, established facts and new clinical questions Kousuke Kanemoto
9. The interictal dysphoric disorder Marco Mula
10. Behavioral and neuropsychological aspects of frontal and temporal lobe epilepsy Christoph Helmstaedter and Juri-Alexander Witt
11. Emotional agnosis and theory of mind Sarah D. Broicher and Hennric Jokeit
12. Nonepileptic seizures Tanvir U. Syed and W. Curt LaFrance, Jr
13. The effects of antiepileptic drugs on behaviour Bettina Schmitz
14. Antiepileptic drugs and suicide Michael R. Trimble
15. Antiepileptic drugs and cognitive disorders Albert P. Aldenkamp
16. Psychiatric illness and psychotropic medication use in epilepsy Jane V. Perr and Alan Ettinger
17. Psychiatric effects of surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy Steffi Koch-Stoecker
18. Brain mechanisms of impaired consciousness in epilepsy Andrea Eugenio Cavanna and Fizzah Ali


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