Difference in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy & Bipolar?
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Q:  Difference in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy & Bipolar?

I am upside down with bp problems...my mother, my husband, and two of my sons have been diagnosed.  I have a 54 yea old brother who is paranoid schizophrenic. 

My question involves my 25 year old.  when he was 14 he was diagnosed bp, was hospitalized three times before he was 22.  At 23, he had a major psychotic episode that resulted in diagnosis of an oligodendroglioma in his left temporal lobe.  It was resected and without the requisite chemo, it hasn't recurred...  Last year, when he was doing well, he was on neurontin, depakote and topamax, but his neurologist didn't like the fact that he was on three meds, and took him off the topamax.

Since then he has developed seizure disorder that resulted in the discovery of subclinical seizures.  Now they are talking about removing the lobe itself.

He is still considered actively bipolar, but the seizures are not in good control. 

My question is: if the surgery is successful, will he still be bipolar?  My 12 year old is following the same psych history, and I have since learned that I can demand a CT every two years to verify that he isn't developing the same tumor.  I have tried asking this question but have discovered that no one is willing to venture a guess (I even found him a psychiatrist who is also a board cert neurologist)...

I'll say this...my life is never boring.

Dear Margaret -- 
I can understand the "never boring" part, for sure.  I think you'll find a
letter I wrote to another parent, of a seven-year old in this case, both interesting (e.g. not boring) and I hope useful.  It contains a link to an important reference, and the general perspective seems to apply to your situation.  Good question. 

Dr. Phelps

Published October, 2004


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