Seized: Temporal Lobe Epilepsy as Medical, Historical, and Artistic Phenomenon

Eve LaPlante, Author HarperCollins Publishers $20 (254p) ISBN 978-0-06-016673-1
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most widespread form of epilepsy among adults, yet TLE seizures are not easily recognized, unlike the far better known convulsions of grand mal epilepsy. In this major study, freelance journalist LaPlante, who interviewed scores of patients and doctors, explores a disease that may affect between one and two million Americans. During a TLE seizure, a person is overcome by powerful emotions, hallucinations, or vivid flashbacks. Some TLE sufferers perform automatic or violent acts; others exhibit hyper-religiosity or altered sexuality. LaPlante reviews the ordeals of Dostoevsky, van Gogh, Lewis Carroll and other luminaries thought to have suffered TLE. She also graphically profies three ordinary TLE patients--Charlie, a lawyer minimally affected by the disease; Jill, a personnel director whose confidence has been shattered by her seizures; and Gloria, a retired hairdresser. If TLE often gets misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or mood disorder, as LaPlante suggests, the implications for psychiatry are staggering. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-595-09431-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-5040-3290-2
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