Wednesday, March 03, 2010

'Pinocchio syndrome': a peculiar form of reflex epilepsy?

Reflex epilepsies can be defined as epilepsies in which all or a significant part of seizures can be regularly provoked by a given triggering factor, most often a sensory stimulus. Sometimes it may be unexpected, such as, reading or decision-making. We report an unusual epilepsy in which seizures occurred when the patient lied.


As in Collodi's tale, in which lies made Pinocchio's nose grow, our patient's lies became so obvious for his interlocutors. As he was a "eurocrat", using lies to evoke the truth in adversarial EEC negoations, it is thanks to carbamazepine [an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizer] that he has been able to work again.

--Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry: 1993
As unpleasant as it is for the real subject, this sounds like a comedic premise.

[The linked article is a fairly brief letter to the Journal, and it's not such a tough read.]

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