John Libbey Eurotext

Epileptic Disorders

The Educational Journal of the

Using anxiolytics in epilepsy: neurobiological, neuropharmacological and clinical aspects Volume 18, issue 3, September 2016

Figures

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Author
1 Atkinson Morley Regional Neuroscience Centre, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London
2 Department of Neuropsychiatry, South West London & St George's Mental Health Trust, London
3 Institute of Medical and Biomedical Sciences, St George's University of London, London, United Kingdom
* Correspondence: Marco Mula Atkinson Morley Regional Neuroscience Centre, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Blackshaw Road, London SW17 0QT, United Kingdom
  • Key words: epilepsy, anxiety, antiepileptic drugs, benzodiazepines, GABA
  • DOI : 10.1684/epd.2016.0837
  • Page(s) : 217-27
  • Published in: 2016

Anxiety disorders represent a common psychiatric comorbidity in patients with epilepsy, affecting prognosis and quality of life. However, they are still underdiagnosed and undertreated. In clinical practice, a number of compounds are currently used as anxiolytics, with benzodiazepines being the most popular. Other drug classes, especially antiepileptic drugs, are increasingly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety. This article discusses the neurobiological targets and basic neuropharmacological aspects of anxiolytics in order to give the reader clear insight into their activity and mechanism of action. Clinical data regarding the treatment of anxiety in both adults and children with epilepsy are also summarised, emphasising the need for further studies.