Risk Factors In Psychiatric Comorbidity Of Epilepsy: Prospective Study Two Years After Epilepsy Onset | 34903
Journal of Neurological Disorders
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Scientific literature shows high rates of psychopathology in paediatric patients with epilepsy, high prevalence of anxietydepressive
disorder, thought disorders, along with attention and social issues. Most studies suggest a common etiopathogenesis
of epilepsy and psychopathology. Therefore, clinical assessment with these patients should take into account both psychological
and neurological aspects. This research aims to find a relation between the onset of epilepsy and the development of any
psychopathology in children accessing the Italian NHS after the first seizure. For 2 years 49 children (aged 4-18) with new-onset
epilepsy, and their families underwent a semestral clinical assessment including clinical interview, dimensional and categorical
questionnaires. The study analysed the demographic, psychosocial and epileptic profile, monitoring their natural evolution and
involvement in a potential psychiatric co-morbidity. Consistently with the literature, we found a high prevalence of anxietydepressive
disorder and ADHD, both significantly associated with psychosocial, epilepsy-related, and quality of life variables.
Although the results have shown a general improvement of the diagnosed psychopathology, it was also observed and enlargement
of the psychopathological spectrum, and an impairment of skills after one year. After 18 months the 90% of patients reduced
seizure frequency and duration, maintaining the psychiatric scores. The 43% was recommended to a specific psycho-diagnostic
procedure, refused by 14%. Although agreeing with the hypothesis of a common neurobiological damage causing epilepsy and
psychopathology, the role of psychological factors, environmental characteristics and stressful life events cannot be excluded.
Therefore, a global care and a multidisciplinary diagnosis considering an eventual psychopathological profile are necessary.
Manuela Stucchi is a Trained Clinical Psychologist. She graduated at University of Padova (Italy) in 2009 with highest final grade and will finish her training in psychodynamic psychotherapy in late 2015. She collaborates with the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatric Unit in Padova (Italy) till 2010 as a Clinical Psychologist. She has co-conducted projects with Gatta and her research group for alcohol prevention in school. She has published in reputed journals regarding her work with epilepsy and psychopathology and other projects. She presented her works in several national and international conferences.