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Seizures Linked to Psychiatric Disorders

The relationship between epilepsy, depression and anxiety has been documented over the years. Now, a new study provides a better understanding of why this occurs and suggests the characteristics of the seizure activity may predict the development of psychiatric symptoms.

Individuals experiencing relatively frequent, short duration seizures appear to be at higher risk of developing mental health issues, report the authors of the study appearing in the journal Epilepsia.

“Traditionally, epilepsy focused in specific lobes of the brain was considered more likely to have psychiatric consequences,” says study author Wilhelmina Swinkels, “but our work shows that more frequent or acute seizure activity is more likely to be the culprit.”

According the study, patients with more frequent seizures and a shorter history of seizure activity are more prone to develop psychiatric disturbances.

“Despite the fact that there appears to be a connection between epilepsy and psychiatric disorders, our research tools are still evolving and are not able to account for all of the factors involved in this complex process,” says Swinkels.

“Continued investigation of this relationship is required to truly understand it.”

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Seizures Linked to Psychiatric Disorders

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Seizures Linked to Psychiatric Disorders. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2018, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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