Deakin University

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Self and informant report ratings of psychopathology in genetic generalized epilepsy

journal contribution
posted on 2017-02-01, 00:00 authored by Amy LoughmanAmy Loughman, S C Bowden, W J D'Souza
The psychological sequelae of genetic generalized epilepsies (GGE) is of growing research interest, with up to a third of all adults with GGE experiencing significant psychiatric comorbidity according to a recent systematic review. A number of unexplored questions remain. Firstly, there is insufficient evidence to determine relative prevalence of psychopathology between GGE syndromes. Secondly, the degree to which self-report and informant-report questionnaires accord in adults with epilepsy is unknown. Finally, while epilepsy severity is one likely predictor of worse psychopathology in GGE, evidence regarding other possible contributing factors such as epilepsy duration and antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) has been equivocal. The potential impact of subclinical epileptiform discharges remains unexplored. Self-report psychopathology symptoms across six DSM-Oriented Subscales were prospectively measured in 60 adults with GGE, with informant-report provided for a subset of 47. We assessed the burden of symptoms from both self- and informant-report, and the relationship between clinical epilepsy variables and self-reported symptoms. Results showed elevated symptoms in almost half of the sample overall. Depression and anxiety were the most commonly reported types of symptoms. There was a trend towards greater symptoms endorsement by self-report, and relatively modest interrater agreement. Symptoms of ADHD were significantly positively associated with number of AEDs currently prescribed. Other psychopathology symptoms were not significantly predicted by epilepsy duration, seizure-free duration or total duration of epileptiform discharges over a 24-hour period. The high prevalence of psychological needs suggests that routine screening of psychopathology and provision of psychoeducation may be essential to improving patient care and outcomes. Further investigation is required to better understand predictive and causal factors for psychopathology in GGE.



Epilepsy and behavior




13 - 19




Amsterdam, The Netherlands







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2016, Elsevier Inc.