Study points to potential for improvement in the care, quality of life of epilepsy patients

September 28, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Routine screening for psychiatric, cognitive and social problems could enhance the quality of care and quality of life for children and adults with epilepsy, according to a study by UC Irvine neurologist Dr. Jack Lin and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Amedeo Avogadro University in Italy.

Physicians who treat those with epilepsy often focus on seizures, Lin said. However, patients show an increased prevalence of (mood, anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders), cognitive disorders (in memory, language or problem solving) and (involving employment or personal interactions). The relationship between epilepsy and these complications is complex and poorly understood. Lin said they may present greater problems for a patient if left untreated.

Study results appear today in The Lancet.

"Screening for psychiatric, cognitive and social comorbidities is essential not only in established cases but also with newly diagnosed epilepsy," Lin said. "By doing so, we can ensure that these issues are treated and that patients have a better quality of life."

He emphasized that screening should also be conducted prior to any new drug treatment.

Problems that occur in conjunction with childhood and adult epilepsy are referred to by doctors as comorbidities, meaning that they have a greater than coincidental chance of appearing alongside each other though there is not necessarily a between them.

The study suggests a number of possible factors responsible for these comorbidities, including the characteristics of epilepsy and its medication protocol, underlying , and epilepsy-related disruptions of normal and aging.

While experts have begun to recognize the effects of psychiatric, cognitive and social comorbidities in epilepsy, Lin noted, gaps remain in the early detection, treatment and prevention of these issues.

Explore further: Study finds bidirectional relationship between schizophrenia and epilepsy

Related Stories

Pediatric epilepsy impacts sleep for the child and parents

May 17, 2012

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston have determined that pediatric epilepsy significantly impacts sleep patterns for the child and parents. According to the study available in Epilepsia, ...

Recommended for you

Deciphering the olfactory receptor code

August 31, 2015

In animals, numerous behaviors are governed by the olfactory perception of their surrounding world. Whether originating in the nose of a mammal or the antennas of an insect, perception results from the combined activation ...

How neurons get their branching shapes

August 31, 2015

For more than a hundred years, people have known that dendritic arbors—the projections that neurons use to receive information from other neurons—differ in size and shape depending on neuron type. Now, researchers at ...

Closing the loop with optogenetics

August 28, 2015

An engineering example of closed-loop control is a simple thermostat used to maintain a steady temperature in the home. Without it, heating or air conditioning would run without reacting to changes in outside conditions, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.