The Neurobehavioral Treatment of Epilepsy

The Neurobehavioral Treatment of Epilepsy

The Neurobehavioral Treatment of Epilepsy

The Neurobehavioral Treatment of Epilepsy


This volume is a first of its kind, addressed principally to the professional reader. While it is not intended to be exhaustive, its aim is to sketch a broad picture of some of the nondrug and nonsurgical treatment strategies with a demonstrated basis in conventional scientific method. Likewise, though it does not include all those who have contributed to the emergence of this exciting new field, it assembles those authors whose seminal work has earned them international reputations.

This volume's declared purpose is to provide a state-of-the-art guide to methods and techniques in the behavioral treatment of epilepsy and to their basis in theory. The editors hope that it will catalyze the evolution of their acceptance as standard elements, where appropriate, in the clinical activities of independent practitioners, clinics, and agencies that service those with convulsive disorders.


Traditionally, a volume concerned with the treatment of epilepsy restricts itself to alternatives and options that fall within the confines of pharmacological or surgical protocols. Indeed, the literature on the medical management of the epilepsies is vast, and such works often include reviews of basic neurophysiology and neurochemistry, technical issues of electroencephalography and related recording methodologies, and even animal models. Yet almost without exception, they fail to report the range of behavioral or psychological interventions and therapeutic programs that have been validated scientifically and that are available to contribute to the comprehensive management of epileptic disorders. Such techniques, properly applied, may well lead to significant reductions in the frequency and severity of clinical seizures, perhaps even with concurrent reduction or elimination of abnormal electrical discharges.

The evidence strongly suggests that the inclusion of behavioral methods in a comprehensive treatment program may offer much to the clinical neurologist. At the very least, they foster increased compliance with medication regimens and stem emotional and interpersonal crises that have been shown frequently to exacerbate seizure disorders. Conventionally separated from medical management, the psychological considerations have been relegated to what has become a minor role for clinical neurologists (i.e., enhancing quality of life, teaching a restrictive lifestyle, and monitoring sequelae of the patient's condition on his or her family).

Contemporary neurology had its roots in anecdotal and clinical lore, which made frequent reference to the interplay of body and mind. Yet, paradoxically, many medical practitioners now express a seemingly hostile attitude toward . . .

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