Sunday, September 14, 2014

Compulsive Poetry In Epilepsy

Interesting effect of epilepsy on personality...

Dr. Rotenberg, Pediatric Epilepsy specialist, Houston TX

writing_emotionsCompulsive Poetry In Epilepsy

By Neuroskeptic | September 3, 2014 1:55 pm
The case of a woman who began compulsively writing poems after being treated for epilepsy offers a rare glimpse into the ‘inner’ dimension of a neurological disorder. Here’s the paper in Neurocase from British neurologists Woollacott and colleagues.
The story in a nutshell: the patient, age 76, had been suffering from memory lapses and episodic disturbances of consciousness. An electroencephalography (EEG) test “revealed left anterior temporal sharp and slow waves”, and the patient was diagnosed with Transient Epileptic Amnesia (TEA).
She was prescribed the anti-epileptic drug lamotrigine (25 mg daily), which completely stopped the memory-loss and episodes of unconsciousness. However, this wasn’t the end of the matter:
Several months after starting lamotrigine, the patient suddenly began to write original verse. Whereas poetry had never previously been among her pastimes, she now produced copious short poems (around 10–15 each day).
These poems often had a wistful or pessimistic nature, but did not have a moral or religious focus. Her husband characterized them as “doggerel” because they were generally rhyming and often featured puns and other wordplay… she became irritated if attempts were made to disengage her. However, she appeared to derive pleasure from the activity and there was no evidence of distress.

Full article here...

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