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Epilepsy and Psychiatry

Terrence L. Riley, MD
JAMA. 1982;248(1):95. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330010065037.
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This thorough and interesting book is a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Gowers' classic work, Epilepsy and Other Chronic Convulsive Diseases. The contributors, some of whom may not be well known to Americans, are an impressive cast of Britain's preeminent neurologists and psychiatrists, among them John Gunn, George Fenton, Denis Williams, and Denis Hill, in addition to the editors.

In his chapter "The Emotions and Epilepsy," Denis Williams laments the current "artificial distinction between what are called the science and the art of medicine." It is perhaps for this reason that the importance of psychiatric and psychological features in epilepsy have for so long been viewed as unrelated or at best alternative approaches to epilepsy. In the historical review that begins the book, Hill traces the evolution of this schism, noting that psychiatrists and neurologists approached problems of epilepsy from such widely different positions that their two traditions virtually


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