Research is presented to support a hypothesis that panic attacks, when they have the same clinical signs as the epileptic consciousness, should be diagnosed as partial seizures with a psychic content. After setting out the four clinical signs defining it (suddenness, automatic nature, great intensity and strangeness), an extensive review of the literature is made in search of scientific information to support the hypothesis, which reveals a wealth of concurring scientific evidence, at both the clinical and preclinical levels, to support the hypothesis presented here. In conclusion, new research is proposed with a view to drawing up interviews and clinical scales in order to quantify the four clinical signs objectively. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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