Background: Frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE) can masquerade as a primary psychiatric condition, be misdiagnosed in-lieu of a true psychiatric disorder, or may be comorbid with psychiatric illness.
Objectives: To (1) qualitatively review psychiatric manifestations of FLE and (2) to systematically review the cases/case series of psychiatric manifestations of FLE presented in the literature to date.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed following the PRISMA guidelines and using PubMed/Medline, PsychInfo, and Cochrane database of systematic reviews to identify cases and case series of psychiatric manifestations of FLE.
Results: A total of 35 separate articles were identified. Further, 17 patients primarily presented with psychosis, 33 with affective symptoms, and 16 with personality changes. Also, 62% of cases were males and 38% were females. Ages ranged from 2-83 years with the average age of 32.7. Prior psychiatric history was reported in 27.3% of cases. Causes of seizure were known in 53%, with the most common causes being dysplasia and tumor. Only 6 cases (<10%) did not have electroencephalographic correlations. Psychiatric manifestations were primarily ictal in 74.3% of the cases. Associated manifestations included motor (63.6%), cognitive (34.8%), and medical (9.0%) findings. Surgery was required in 31.8% of the cases, whereas others were treated with medications alone. All, but 3, patients were seizure free and saw an improvement in symptoms with treatment.
Conclusions: Given the complexity and multifunctionality of the frontal lobes, FLE can present with complex, psychiatric manifestations, with associated motor, cognitive, and medical changes; thus, psychiatrists should keep FLE on the differential diagnosis of complex neuropsychiatric cases.
Keywords: behavior; epilepsy; frontal lobe; mood; neuropsychiatry.; seizures.
Copyright © 2016 The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.