September 8, 2005

Epilepsy Patients Liable for Bipolar Disorder

Apparently those with epilepsy are at a higher risk of developing bipolar disorder than those with other chronic medical ailments. The participants in the study were 1,236 people with epilepsy, 8,994 with migraine, 7,951 with asthma, 7,342 with diabetes, and a healthy control group of 57,172 individuals.

Epilepsy patients had bipolar disorder at a rate of 12%. This was 2 times more common than in any of the other groups with bipolar disorder and 6 times more common than those in the healthy control group.

"'Our findings suggest that bipolar symptoms and perhaps formal bipolar disorder may be significantly underrecognized in patients with epilepsy and patients with other chronic disorders,' Ettinger said in an interview with Reuters Health" (Reuters Health, 2005). One of the reasons that bipolar disorder may go unrecognized in epilepsy patients is the fact that anticonvulsants are often used to fight epileptic symptoms. Anticonvulsants are sometimes prescribed to those with bipolar disorder to better regulate their moods. So coincidentally such patients may sometimes receive treatment for epilepsy and the bipolar disorder that they suffer from.

Sometimes those with epilepsy are said to have mood instability which could be explained by this recent finding.

Original Source: Epilepsy patients may be prone to bipolar disorder. Reuters Health. September 7, 2005.

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