Brief Communication| Volume 60, P7-10, July 2016

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“God has sent me to you”: Right temporal epilepsy, left prefrontal psychosis

  • Shahar Arzy
    Corresponding author at: Neuropsychiatry Lab, Department of Neurology, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. Tel.: +972 2 6776 940.
    Neuropsychiatry Lab, Department of Neurology, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem 9112001, Israel

    Department of Medical Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 9112001, Israel
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  • Roey Schurr
    Neuropsychiatry Lab, Department of Neurology, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem 9112001, Israel
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      Religious experiences have long been documented in patients with epilepsy, though their exact underlying neural mechanisms are still unclear. Here, we had the rare opportunity to record a delusional religious conversion in real time in a patient with right temporal lobe epilepsy undergoing continuous video-EEG. In this patient, a messianic revelation experience occurred several hours after a complex partial seizure of temporal origin, compatible with postictal psychosis (PIP). We analyzed the recorded resting-state EEG epochs separately for each of the conventional frequency bands. Topographical analysis of the bandpass filtered EEG epochs revealed increased activity in the low-gamma range (30–40 Hz) during religious conversion compared with activity during the patient's habitual state. The brain generator underlying this activity was localized to the left prefrontal cortex. This suggests that religious conversion in PIP is related to control mechanisms in the prefrontal lobe-related processes rather than medial temporal lobe-related processes.


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