Depression and anxiety are common comorbid conditions in people with epilepsy. Their presence is associated with an increase in suicide risk, increase healthcare costs, increase in mortality and reduced quality of life.
Rutgers and Columbia scientists assessed family histories of epilepsy and depression to find a possible genetic relationship From the time of Hippocrates, physicians have suspected a link between epilepsy and depression. Now, for the first time, scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Columbia University have found evidence that seizures and mood disorders such as depression may share the same genetic cause in some people with epilepsy, which may lead to better screening and treatment to improve patients’ quality of life.
Chronic childhood illnesses such as epilepsy could increase the risk that a person will develop clinical depression as an adult, according to new research. The study, “Research Review: Childhood chronic physical illness and adult emotional health – a systematic review and meta-analysis,” was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
An analysis of published studies found that in individuals with epilepsy, there is a 20.2% prevalence of anxiety disorders and a 22.9% prevalence of depression. Investigators also found no differences in the prevalence of either depression or anxiety based on the severity of illness.
There is a growing interest over the possible relationship between depression and epilepsy. A study recently published showed that there is an increased risk of developing epilepsy among persons diagnosed with depression, and vice versa. Epilepsy is a syndrome characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures due to an imbalance of chemicals in the nervous system. This chemical imbalance is also one of the underlying mechanisms of depression. This similarity in pathophysiology has sparked an interest among the medical community to determine the possible relationship between the two diseases.
Scientists are beginning to unwrap the biology behind why some people are more prone to major depression and other psychiatric disorders than others when experiencing stressful life events. The researchers found that cellular activity in response to stress hormone receptor activation differs from individual to individual. The study, led by Janine Arloth, Ryan Bogdan, and Elisabeth Binder at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Germany, also shows that the genetic variations underlying this difference in stress response correlate with dysfunction in the amygdala, a brain region that is an important part of the stress hormone response. Watch the paper’s video abstract. Neuron, Arloth et al.: ‘Genetically determined differences in the immediate transcriptome response to stres...
Dr. Ettinger and Colleagues Encourage Physicians to Screen Patients for Depression, to Help Avoid Potentially Devastating Consequences of Uncontrolled Seizures ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY, USA, June 12, 2014 /EINPresswire.com/ — A new study led by Alan B. Ettinger, M.D., M.B.A., Director of the Epilepsy Center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC), has found that many patients who fail to take their antiseizure medications are suffering from depression. Previous studies by Dr. Ettinger and others have found a high incidence of depression in people with epilepsy, but this is the first research to show a direct link between depression and medication nonadherence. The study will be published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Epilepsy & Behavior, and is available online ahead of publicat...