The phenomenology of panic attacks and of complex partial seizures
overlap, and at times distinguishing between the two entities is difficult.
The authors report five patients with recurrent panic attacks and temporal
lobe EEG abnormalities whose symptoms did not warrant a clinical diagnosis
of partial seizures but who responded well to anticonvulsant therapy. The
cases suggest that focal cortical discharges may trigger panic attacks in
some patients in whom an unequivocal diagnosis of epilepsy cannot be made.
Electroencephalography and anticonvulsant trials may be appropriate in
patients with panic attacks refractory to conventional treatment.