People who have a history of epilepsy would seem to be at increased risk of developing schizophrenia.
The cause of schizophrenia, a psychotic mental illness that leads to much disability, is not well known. But doctors at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, suggest it could be linked to epilepsy.
They studied a database of 2.27 million people in Denmark, born between 1950 and 1987. Personal and family histories of epilepsy and psychosis were obtained and the participants followed up for 25 years. Those with a history of epilepsy had nearly two and a half times the risk of developing schizophrenia and nearly three times the risk of developing a schizophrenia-type psychosis, compared with the general population. The increased risk did not differ with the type of epilepsy. But it was significantly greater the older someone was when admitted to hospital with epilepsy. The study, seems to suggest there may be some common genetic or environmental causes for schizophrenia and epilepsy.