Epilepsy and the risk of psychosis


A study published online by the British Medical Journal suggests that people with epilepsy or a family history of epilepsy may be more likely to develop schizophrenia or psychotic symptoms.

Researchers from the University of Aarhus analysed the records of 2.27 million Danish people, and found the risk of schizophrenia-like psychosis slightly raised in people with epilepsy, or those with family members who have epilepsy.

The absolute risk still remains small however, as only 1.5% of the people with epilepsy went on to develop psychosis.

The significance of these findings are in the suggestion that epilepsy and psychosis may have some common genetic influences. This influence is likely to be complex however, as demonstrated by a curious interaction.

The study found that people with epilepsy were more likely to develop psychosis if there was no family history of psychosis or schizophrenia.

Link to story from Yahoo News.
Link to study abstract.

UPDATE: The BMJ have just published a ‘rapid response‘ I submitted about the article’s findings.

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