Depression in epilepsy: A common but often unrecognized comorbid malady

Andres M. Kanner, Susan Palac

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Depressive disorders (DDs) represent the most frequent psychiatric comorbidity in epilepsy (1-5). Despite their relatively high prevalence, DDs remain unrecognized and untreated in many patients with epilepsy. The purpose of this review is to examine the reasons behind the failure to recognize and treat DDs in epilepsy. We highlight the essential epidemiologic, etiopathogenic, and clinical aspects that need to be considered in the evaluation of every epileptic patient and dedicate the last section of this paper to the review of the most relevant treatment issues. If we are successful in our goals, the reader will be impressed by the significant impact of DDs on the quality of life of these patients, and by the need to investigate treatment modalities with the same scientific rigor used in the assessment of efficacy of antiepileptic drugs in the control of seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Epilepsy; temporal lobe epilepsy; interictal dysphoria of epilepsy; dysthymic disorder; periictal depression; ictal depression; postictal depression; major depressive disorder; selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors; tricyclic antidepressants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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