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SEIZURES AND THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE
BERNARD BANDLER; I. CHARLES KAUFMAN; JAMES W. DYKENS; MAXWELL SCHLEIFER; LEON N. SHAPIRO
Am J Psychiatry 1957;113:704-708.
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The department of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 80 East Concord St., Boston, Mass.

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Abstract

On the basis of the findings presented, we derive the following conclusions:1. Epileptic women have normal ovulatory menstrual cycles.2. The seizures of epileptic women as a group have a random distribution with respect to the phases of the menstrual cycle.3. Many individual epileptic women show an increased incidence of seizures during a particular phase of the menstrual cycle. This phase preference, however, by individual epileptics, is spread among all the phases, and is itself part of the random distribution for the group. Consequently, the concept of "menstrual epilepsy" may be due to this phase preference shown by some women; however, it would be equally valid or invalid to speak of "proliferative epilepsy," or "ovulatory epilepsy," or "progestative epilepsy," or "premenstrual epilepsy," since other women show statistical preference for these phases.4. In some instances transient phase preferences clearly have been due to discernible psychological factors. It is possible that all the individual phase preferences within the random group distribution are largely determined by psychological factors. As yet we are not able to speak conclusively about this.5. With respect to the confusion between epilepsy and hysteria, it seems possible that it is due to the importance of psychological factors in both disorders.

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