Information from a new study is showing that kids who suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy are more likely to suffer from behavioral problems and other psychiatric illnesses, including depression. The results of this study are published in Epilepsia.
This study is helping to highlight how important it is for young epilepsy patients to receive regular psychiatric evaluations. For now, medical evidence is showing that various mental conditions are common among pediatric epilepsy patients. It is so common, in fact, that as many as 40 percent of them will be diagnosed with some sort of psychiatric condition, including depression, anxiety, attention issues and learning difficulties. In fact, a study that was conducted in 2009 showed that depression was linked to seizures in the temporal lobe.
“Our research examined whether psychiatric illness was more prominent in children who were unresponsive to anti-seizure medications and had seizures in the temporal lobe versus elsewhere in the brain,” explains lead study author, Dr. Jay Salpekar with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “In children who do not respond to drug therapy, epilepsy surgery may be the only option to improve their quality of life. Understanding the pediatric patients’ mental health status is important, as the severity of psychiatric illness may impact the overall risk-benefit of epilepsy surgery.”
While more studies will have to be conducted in order to confirm these results, epilepsy’s link to depression should prove helpful when doctors seek to find proper treatments for depressed patients that are not linked to antidepressant drugs like Paxil or Effexor, which could prove even more dangerous when mixed with anti-seizure drugs. The serious adverse effects linked to using drugs like Paxil and Effexor, which are commonly-prescribed forms of SSRIs in treating depression and anxiety, include violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior and birth defects (PPHN, spina bifida, oral clefts and heart, lung and brain defects), and are proving to be no better than placebos are treating the symptoms of severe depression. When mixed with anti-seizure medications, which may also be dangerous, patients may find themselves worse off than they started.