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Forced Normalization Revisited: New Concepts About a Paradoxical Phenomenon

Authors
  • Bragatti, José Augusto
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Aug 27, 2021
Volume
15
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fnint.2021.736248
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Neuroscience
  • Mini Review
License
Green

Abstract

The phenomenon of Forced Normalization (FN) was first described by Landolt in 1953, who described the disappearance of epileptiform discharges in the EEG of patients with epilepsy, concomitant with the development of psychotic symptoms. Later, Tellenbach coined the term “alternative psychosis” referring specifically to the alternation between clinical phenomena. Finally, in 1991, Wolf observed a degenerative process involved in the phenomenon, which he called “paradoxical normalization.” Initially, FN was explained through experimental models in animals and the demonstration of the kindling phenomenon, in its electrical and pharmacological subdivisions. At this stage of research on the epileptic phenomenon, repetitive electrical stimuli applied to susceptible regions of the brain (hippocampus and amygdala) were considered to explain the pathophysiological basis of temporal lobe epileptogenesis. Likewise, through pharmacological manipulation, especially of dopaminergic circuits, psychiatric comorbidities began to find their basic mechanisms. With the development of new imaging techniques (EEG/fMRI), studies in the area started to focus on the functional connectivity (FC) of different brain regions with specific neuronal networks, which govern emotions. Thus, a series of evidence was produced relating the occurrence of epileptic discharges in the limbic system and their consequent coactivation and deactivation of these resting-state networks. However, there are still many controversies regarding the basic mechanisms of network alterations related to emotional control, which will need to be studied with a more homogeneous methodology, in order to try to explain this interesting neuropsychiatric phenomenon with greater accuracy.

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