Consensus statement: The evaluation and treatment of people with epilepsy and affective disorders

John J. Barry, Alan B. Ettinger, Peggy Friel, Frank G. Gilliam, Cynthia L. Harden, Bruce Hermann, Andres M. Kanner, Rochelle Caplan, Sigita Plioplys, Jay Salpekar, David Dunn, Joan Austin, Jana Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Affective disorders in people with epilepsy (PWE) have become increasingly recognized as a primary factor in the morbidity and mortality of epilepsy. To improve the recognition and treatment of affective disorders in PWE, an expert panel comprising members from the Epilepsy Foundation's Mood Disorders Initiative have composed a Consensus Statement. This document focuses on depressive disorders in particular and reviews the appearance and treatment of the disorder in children, adolescents, and adults. Idiosyncratic aspects of the appearance of depression in this population, along with physiological and cognitive issues and barriers to treatment, are reviewed. Finally, a suggested approach to the diagnosis of affective disorders in PWE is presented in detail. This includes the use of psychometric tools for diagnosis and a stepwise algorithmic approach to treatment. Recommendations are based on the general depression literature as well as epilepsy-specific studies. It is hoped that this document will improve the overall detection and subsequent treatment of affective illnesses in PWE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S1-S29
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressants
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Ictal depression
  • Interictal depression
  • Intractable epilepsy
  • Postictal depression
  • Suicidality
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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