There is a group of psychiatric patients with normal electroencephalograms who demonstrate paroxysmal, hypersynchronous electroencephalographic activity after activation with α-chloralose. Such electroencephalographic activity in itself would be suggestive of epilepsy. However, the patient’s predominant symptomatology and behavioral patterns suggest functional psychiatric disorders, such as impulsive sociopathic behavior, catatonic schizophrenia, acute undifferentiated schizophrenia, catathymic crisis, or hysterical dissociation states. Although the psychiatric symptomatology predominates, there may also occur such epileptic manifestations as generalized seizures, automatisms, and complex psychical seizures. This mixture of symptoms suggests a diagnostic group intermediate between schizophrenia and epilepsy—disorders which are usually considered qualitatively different.
On the basis of clinical observation, such a grouping has often been suggested in the literature. A recent review of such reports was included in the article by Rodin et al.1 In another recent article, Ervin et al.2 report that