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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews the shared history of epilepsy and neuropsychology and highlights the clinical and scientific progress in both disciplines. It considers the role of neuropsychology in understanding the impact of the epilepsies and how cognitive studies of epilepsy and epilepsy surgery helped elucidate human brain function. It begins by focusing on the late 1800s/early 1900s, when intelligence testing became available and widely used in epilepsy and neuropsychology, before turning to the 1920s–1950s, when a clearer picture of the different epilepsy syndromes and their associated EEG and clinical seizure features emerged. It then examines surgical treatment of the epilepsies in the period beginning in the late 1940s, along with the conflict between the eugenics movement and the goal of providing better care of people with epilepsy within specialized epilepsy institutions. It also looks at the risk factors for cognitive impairment and the effects of EEG abnormalities on neuropsychological function.

Keywords: epilepsy, neuropsychology, surgery, brain function, intelligence testing, EEG, clinical seizure, eugenics movement, epilepsy institutions, cognitive impairment

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