Gastaut-Geschwind Syndrome Observed in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Explained
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder to which brain neurons sporadically fire. Types of seizures symptoms are determined on the location of misfire. If a patient has more than two or three seizures in a given time period, they are diagnosed with epilepsy. (Please read disclaimer)
In the 19th century, neurologist Norman Geschwind observed that many of his patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, or TLE, exhibit a group of cognitive and behavioral symptoms assumed to be the result of seizures of the right temporal lobe. Both types of mental and cognitive health symptoms came to be known as the Gastaut-Geschwind Syndrome (Geschwind Syndrome). Given the symptoms are not organic in nature, doctors and psychologists have had controversial debate as to whether the condition is psychological or medical. As a result, condition is studied by its pattern among TLE patients but no patient is diagnosis with such.
The symptoms that make up Gastaut-Geschwind Syndrome (GGS) according to PublicMed.com article abstract are hyper-religiosity, hypergraphia, and hypersexuality.
While it's not typical for all TLE patients to have all these symptoms, the evidence and correlation between seizures and GGS symptoms are worth the study.
The first and highly unusual symptom of Gastaut-Geschwind Syndrome in some patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy included hyperreligiousity. Patterns observed in patients included a increased need and interest in religious activities and morals not always altogether associated with their own personal morals or religious ideals.
For example, Geshwind noticed that patients would jump from religion to religion and claim their spiritual experiences were not religious in nature but with neurological and psychological cause.
Behavioral viscosity associated with the Frontal and Temporal Lobes refer to a patient's awareness of another person's personal space. Geschwind observed that people who tend to have a close viscosity with other people (or less personal space) tend to act inappropriately around other people. For example, in a work related environment, someone with TLE may miscommunicate someone's reach for a handshake to a more personal reaction associated with a personal setting such as a hug or touch not appropriate in work environments.
Atypical sexuality and hypergraphia
Normal Geschwind also observed atypical sexuality in TLE patients. For example, some patients may have a increase sexual attraction or libto. With inappropriate viscosity, both lead to inappropriate sexual advances and ticks. The latter, hypergraphia refers to excessive writing.
Normal Geschwind and his peers continued to study the patterns and correlation between patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. At this time, doctors understand behavioral viscosity as connected to the Frontal Lobe, or the forehead part of the brain. However, hyper-religiousity and hypergraphia have not been confirmed as true symptoms under Epilepsy. The symptoms of Gastaut-Geschwind Syndrome varies by patient.
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