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Mental Ills in Kids With Epilepsy May Depend on Seizure Location
Date:5/29/2013

WEDNESDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Depression and behavioral problems are common among children and teens with a type of epilepsy known as temporal lobe epilepsy, according to a new study.

Seizures involving the temporal lobe of the brain are associated with significant psychiatric problems, the researchers found. Because of this, psychiatric evaluations are important for children with epilepsy, especially those who don't respond to anti-seizure medications and need surgery for their condition, the study authors pointed out in the report published online this month in the journal Epilepsia.

"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," study lead author, Dr. Jay Salpekar of Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., said in a journal news release.

"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," he explained.

The study involved 40 children with epilepsy who did not respond to anti-seizure medications. All of the participants, aged 6 to 17, were given psychiatric evaluations before surgery. Their parents also completed a child behavioral questionnaire. In reviewing the children's case records, the researchers found the study participants had significantly more psychiatric and behavioral problems than what is usually reported in children with chronic epilepsy.

Nearly 80 percent of the children suffered from significant psychiatric symptoms, compared to the 20 to 40 percent prevalence of mental illness generally found in cases of children with chronic epilepsy. The children whose seizures were s
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