Study reveals that epilepsy patients are more likely to suffer depression

Medical research conducted by Poland’s Medical University of Gdansk, in conjunction with the Copernicus Hospital, has highlighted that a higher proportion of epilepsy patients suffer from depression than previously thought.

96 people with epilepsy, all of whom had made a recent visit to an outpatient clinic, participated in the study, and a psychiatrist assessed individuals using standardised methods.

The research focused on assessing the occurrence of different forms of disorders linked to depression and 22.3 per cent of the participants were found to have a significant depressive condition.

An additional 20 per cent of the group were found to have other mood disorders, meaning that over 40 per cent of those in the study demonstrated some form of depression.

Though the sample size was relatively small and dealt with patients from one clinic, the study has highlighted that the link between depression and epilepsy is stronger than previous research has indicated.

Among some of the more common factors that were found to have an impact on depression levels were unemployment and a later age for seizure onset.

The researchers suggested that psychiatric diagnosis in epilepsy needs to include structured diagnostic interviews.

They concluded: “Major depression, as well as other forms of depressive disorders, are common among people with epilepsy. Unemployment, age, and age at seizure onset are important factors associated with major depression among people with epilepsy.”

More information about the study is available in the medical journal Epilepsy & Behavior.

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