A "mock up" of schizophrenia: temporal lobe epilepsy and schizophrenia-like psychosis

Biol Psychiatry. 1990 Jul 15;28(2):127-43. doi: 10.1016/0006-3223(90)90630-k.


Schizophrenia-like psychoses occur more frequently than expected in patients with chronic temporal lobe epilepsy. We have analyzed pathological and clinical data from a series (n = 249) of temporal lobectomies to determine the factors that may relate to the development of schizophrenia-like psychosis. Schizophrenia-like psychoses did not occur at random; they were significantly associated with lesions that (1) originated in the fetus or perinatally, (2) affected neurons in the medial temporal lobe, and (3) gave an early age of first fit. Gangliogliomas--developmental lesions of the medial temporal lobe containing aberrant neurons--were disproportionately (p less than 0.001) associated with risk of psychosis. Schizophrenia-like psychoses arising preoperatively occurred more often (p = 0.1) with left-sided lesions. Asymmetry of lesion was not present in cases with postoperative psychoses. These findings are of interest in relation to recent studies suggesting that the structural abnormalities found in the brains of schizophrenics arise during fetal brain development.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Delusions / pathology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / pathology*
  • Neuroglia / pathology
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Psychosurgery
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Thinking / physiology