Occasionally a person with a history of seizures will commit a violent act. The presence of certain criteria may support the hypothesis that the act was a part of the epileptic fit and not a willful act.


Establishing that an act of violence was consequent to an epileptic fit should include all of the following:

(1) a proven diagnosis of epilepsy

(2) aggressive or violent acts should be characteristic for the patient during a seizure

(3) documentation of automatisms during seizures by monitoring (EEG, closed circuit video, history, etc.)

(4) presence of aggression during the epileptic automatisms verified by a videotaped-recorded seizure in which ictal epileptiform patterns are recorded on the electroencephalogram.

(5) a neurologist specializing in epilepsy should judge the alleged crime was part of a seizure


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