Distinguishing between partial seizures and panic attacks

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7290.864 (Published 07 April 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:864

Psychotic and behavioural symptoms are also common in elderly patients

  1. Mark C Dale (mcdale@cybermail.uk.com), honorary senior lecturer
  1. Fleetwood Hospital, Fleetwood FY7 6BE
  2. Epilepsy Centre, University of Freiburg, 79106 Freiburg, Germany

    EDITOR—Thompson et al highlighted the considerable challenge in differentiating partial seizures from panic disorder and the considerable overlap that exists between the two disorders.1 Patients with these disorders often present to old age psychiatry services and, perhaps not surprisingly, show slightly different psychopathology from that reported by Thompson et al.

    In a series of 69 elderly patients identified through the Salford case register presenting to the old age psychiatry service with epilepsy (42 women), both generalised anxiety disorder (18) and depression (18) were common. Thirty three of these patients had partial seizures, nine of whom (seven women) presented with panic attacks. The frequency of these attacks was less than reported by Thompson et al, and …

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