Psychiatric comorbidities in new onset epilepsy: Should they be always investigated?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The new definition of epilepsy establishes that epilepsy is not only a disorder presenting with epileptic seizures but it can be often associated with cognitive and psychiatric comorbidities. In fact, the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities is relatively high in patients with epilepsy (PWE), as one in three patients will have experienced a psychiatric disorder in the course of their life, with mood and anxiety disorders being the most frequent. Psychiatric comorbidities often precede the onset of the seizure disorder, and affect the life of these patients and the course of the seizure disorder at several levels, including a worse tolerance of pharmacotherapy with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), in particular the development of iatrogenic psychiatric symptoms from pharmacologic and surgical treatments, an increased mortality risk, a worse quality of life and higher economic burdens of the patient, family and society as a hole. Accordingly, psychiatric comorbidities should be recognized at the time of the initial evaluation of every PWE and their treatment needs to be incorporated within the overall therapeutic plan. This question is addressed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-82
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Antiepileptic drugs
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Quality of life
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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