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

Brain activity may predict risk of falls in older people

December 7, 2016

Measuring the brain activity of healthy, older adults while they walk and talk at the same time may help predict their risk of falls later, according to a study published in the December 7, 2016, online issue of Neurology.

Knowing one's place in a social hierarchy

December 7, 2016

When you start a new job, it's normal to spend the first day working out who's who in the pecking order, information that will come in handy for making useful connections in the future. In an fMRI study published December ...

Deep brain stimulation may not boost memory

December 7, 2016

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of areas in the brain known to be involved in making memories does not improve memory performance, according to a study by Columbia University researchers published December 7 in Neuron. The study ...

When neurons are 'born' impacts olfactory behavior in mice

December 7, 2016

New research from North Carolina State University shows that neurons generated at different life stages in mice can impact aspects of their olfactory sense and behavior. The work could have implications for our understanding ...

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.