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Minerva Psichiatrica 2008 June;49(2):145-56

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Epilepsy and psychiatric comorbidity: a review

Gentile E. 1, Macario P. F. 1, Cappellin F. 1, Zullo G. 1, Munno D. 2

1 Sezione Psichiatria Dipartimento di Neuroscienze Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia Università di Torino, Torino, Italia 2 Sezione di Psicologia Clinica Dipartimento di Neuroscienze Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia Università di Torino, Torino, Italia


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Psychiatric diseases are quite frequent in epilepsy with a prevalence of 6% to 20-50%. This difference depends on the different methodologies applied and on the different population selected. Moreover psychiatric diseases are more common in temporal lobe epilepsy and in refractory epilepsy. According to some authors the existing classification of psychiatric disorders is inappropriate if referred to epilepsy, because some psychiatric disorders are specific of the epilepsy and would demand a new classification system. Psychiatric disorders in comorbidity with epilepsy are classified on the temporal relation with seizures: ictal disorders are an expression of the seizure, peri-ictal disorders precede or follow the seizure and interictal disorders are not related to seizure. Psychiatric diseases that occur in comorbidity with epilepsy are: depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders. Moreover, peculiar psychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy are the interictal dysphoric disorder and the so-called “epileptic personality”. The aim of this study is a review of data from literature related to the prevalence, the main clinical features, the triggering factors and the main therapeutic indications of psychiatric disorders that occur in comorbidity with epilepsy.

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