The Geschwind syndrome

Adv Neurol. 1991;55:411-21.


A characteristic personality syndrome consisting of circumstantiality (excessive verbal output, stickiness, hypergraphia), altered sexuality (usually hyposexuality), and intensified mental life (deepened cognitive and emotional responses) is present in some epilepsy patients. For identification, the term "Geschwind syndrome" has been suggested as a name for this group of behavioral phenomena. Support for, and criticism against, the existence of this syndrome as a specific personality disorder has produced more fire than substance, but the presence of an unsettled, ongoing controversy has been acknowledged. At present, the strongest support stems from the many clinicians who have described and attempted to manage seizure patients with these personality features. Carefully directed studies are needed to confirm or deny that the Geschwind syndrome represents a specific epilepsy/psychiatric disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior
  • Cognition
  • Emotions
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / etiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Personality Disorders / etiology*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology
  • Syndrome