‘Some social problems’ shown by well-functioning children with epilepsy

Posted Feb 27 2014 in Living with epilepsy

A ten-year study has found children and adolescents with epilepsy often show emotional, behavioural and social problems in the long-term – even if identified as well-functioning at diagnosis.

Researchers at Uppsala University, Sweden surveyed a cohort of 31 patients, each of whom had been described as well-functioning by their doctors when diagnosed with the neurological condition a decade previously.

Some 32 per cent of the sample still showed active epilepsy, which was related to attention problems, somatic complaints and academic difficulties. Indeed, school problems affected six of seven children younger than 18 years.

Sixteen per cent of the patients had been prescribed polytherapy, which the researchers found increased the risk of attention problems and aggressive behaviour.

Additionally, 29 per cent of the individuals exhibited internalising, externalising and other syndromes.

More positively, all patients with benign, or rolandic, epilepsy were classified as normal.

The researchers concluded more information is needed about epilepsy’s associated psychological comorbidities “in order to decrease risk of low self-esteem, social anxiety, and depression later in life”.

Posted by Steve Long

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