Subjective and physiological response to emotions in temporal lobe epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures
Journal of Affective Disorders. 2019-02-01; 244: 46-53
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1. J Affect Disord. 2019 Feb 1;244:46-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.004. Epub 2018
Subjective and physiological response to emotions in temporal lobe epilepsy and
psychogenic non-epileptic seizures.
Kotwas I(1), Micoulaud-Franchi JA(2), Khalfa S(3), McGonigal A(4),
Bastien-Toniazzo M(5), Bartolomei F(4).
(1)Laboratoire Parole et Langage UMR 7309, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille,
France. Electronic address: .
(2)Service d’explorations fonctionnelles du système nerveux, Clinique du sommeil,
CHU de Bordeaux, Place Amélie Raba-Léon, Bordeaux 33076, France; USR CNRS 3413
SANPSY, CHU Pellegrin, Université de Bordeaux, France.
(3)National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Timone Neuroscience Institute
(INT, UMR 7289), Marseille, France; Department of Neurosciences, Faculty of Life
and Health Sciences, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France.
(4)Service de Neurophysiologie Clinique, Centre Hospitalo Universitaire de la
Timone, 264, rue Saint-Pierre, Marseille 13005, France; Aix Marseille University,
Inserm, INS, Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes, Marseille, France.
(5)Laboratoire Parole et Langage UMR 7309, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille,
BACKGROUND: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures
(PNES) are conditions frequently associated with dysfunction in emotional
regulation leading to increased risk of affective disorders. This study
investigates emotional processing with an objective measure of emotional
reactivity in patients with TLE and patients with PNES.
METHODS: 34 patients with TLE and 14 patients with PNES were evaluated on skin
conductance responses (SCR) to emotions induced by short films and compared to 34
healthy controls. An attention and a suppression condition were performed while
viewing the films.
RESULTS: The both groups of patients disclosed lower SCR to emotions compared to
controls, mainly in suppression condition. While TLE patients had lower SCR in
attention condition than controls for fear, sadness and happiness, PNES had lower
SCR only for happiness. In suppression condition, both had lower SCR than
controls except for peacefulness in both groups and sadness in PNES. Subjective
evaluations revealed that both patient’s groups scored a higher intensity for
sadness than controls in attention and lower for in fear and disgust in
suppression only in TLE.
LIMITATIONS: The sample size in the PNES group and the lack of a control group
with similar levels of mood symptoms limited the interpretation of our results.
CONCLUSION: As no correlation were found between SCR to emotions and scores of
affective disorders, this pattern of responses might be underpinned by specific
pathophysiological and cognitive mechanisms related to TLE and to PNES. Thus,
therapeutic approaches targeting emotional autonomic responses can be of interest
in the management of these conditions.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.