Depression And Epileptic Seizures May Share Genetic Cause
Todd Bates, 12 Jan 18
       

(Credit: Getty Images)

Seizures and mood disorders such as depression may share the same genetic cause in some people with epilepsy, a new study suggests.

The findings may lead to better screening and treatment to improve patients’ quality of life, researchers say.


People have suspected a relationship between epilepsy and mood disorders for millennia.


Scientists studied dozens of families with multiple relatives who have epilepsy, and compared the family members’ lifetime prevalence of mood disorders with that of the US population.

They found an increased incidence of mood disorders in people who suffer from a type of the condition called focal epilepsy, in which seizures begin in just one part of the brain. The researchers did not, however, observe an increase in mood disorders in people with generalized epilepsy, in which seizures start on both sides of the brain.

“Mood disorders such as depression are under-recognized and undertreated in people with epilepsy,” says Gary A. Heiman, associate professor of genetics at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

“Clinicians need to screen for mood disorders in people with epilepsy, particularly focal epilepsy, and clinicians should treat the depression in addition to the epilepsy. That will improve patients’ quality of life,” Heiman says.

The results of the study—which appear in Epilepsia—support the hypothesis that people with focal epilepsy, but not generalized epilepsy, are susceptible to mood disorders such as depression.

“More research is needed to identify specific genes that raise risk for both epilepsy and mood disorders,” Heiman says. “It’s important to understand the relationship between the two different disorders.”

People have suspected a relationship between epilepsy and mood disorders for millennia, Heiman notes. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine,” wrote about it around 400 BCE: “Melancholics ordinarily become epileptics, and epileptics, melancholics: what determines the preference is the direction the malady takes; if it bears upon the body, epilepsy, if upon the intelligence, melancholy.”

 

Sign in to view full article

       
Young Workers Expect Their Older Colleagues to Get Out of The Way
There are many names for the narratives pitting the older generation against the younger: Gen-Y versus Baby Boomers, “Generation Me” ...
Michael North
Wed, 15 Mar 17
Petition Urges Xi Jinping to End Forced Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners
NEW YORK—A petition that has garnered nearly 6,000 signatures in just 2 days calls for President Donald Trump to help ...
Bowen Xiao
Mon, 10 Apr 17
The Disease of Struggle
When the Soviet Union collapsed, Ryszard Legutko, the minister of education of Poland, had an impression shared by many as ...
Joshua Philipp
Mon, 23 Jan 17
Too Many Tabs – Why Some People Can Multitask Online and Others Can’t
The internet may be the most comprehensive source of information ever created but it’s also the biggest distraction. Set out ...
Peggy Alexopoulou
Thu, 5 Jan 17
The Future of Online Advertising is Big Data and Algorithms
The challenge facing advertisers and advertising professionals is remaining relevant in the face of a fundamental technological change. Namely, algorithms ...
Rob Livingstone
Tue, 4 Apr 17
An Epoch Times Survey
An Epoch Times Survey
An Epoch Times Survey
Read about Forced Organ Harvesting
BUCHERER
Sports Elements