Mood Disorder Symptoms Prevalent in Epilepsy

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- Symptoms of bipolar disorder are prevalent among patients with epilepsy, and are highly associated with depressive symptoms in these patients, an analysis of 54 epilepsy patients at a tertiary care center shows.

Patients with epilepsy and both bipolar and depressive symptoms may have the mood instability of interictal dysphoric disorder, Dr. Alan B. Ettinger and his associates reported in a poster at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.

They evaluated adult patients who were managed at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center of Long Island Jewish Hospital in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Using the Mood Disorders Questionnaire (MDQ), they identified bipolar symptoms in seven patients (13%), a prevalence rate that closely matched the 12% rate the researchers had previously reported in a community-based cohort of epilepsy patients.

Six of the seven MDQ-positive patients also had a positive diagnosis on the Bipolar Spectrum Diagnostic Scale, as did another seven of the remaining 47 patients (15%) with epilepsy who were negative on the MDQ. The MDQ-positive patients also showed evidence of increased functional impairment, documented by their scores on the Sheehan Disability Scale, and they perceived themselves as having a reduced quality of life, based on their scores on the Quality of Life in Epilepsy-89 Patient Inventory. …