The burden of psychiatric comorbidity in epilepsy Volume 19, issue 4, Octobre, Novembre, Décembre 2007

Clinique Neurologique, CHU Bretonneau, 37044 Tours Cedex

Psychiatric comorbidity in epilepsy refers to the coexistence of mental disorders in people with epilepsy that is more than coincidental. There is good clinical evidence suggesting that the psychiatric disorders of epilepsy are clinically distinct but they do not find a place in the current classification systems in psychiatry. Current epidemiological knowledge of psychiatric disorders in epilepsy has been reviewed both in the general population and in populations with refractory epilepsy according to a descriptive approach. The prevalence of depressive disorders is reported to be more than 30% in community-based samples and 20-70% in people with refractory epilepsy. Adequate recognition and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders is essential for patient management because of their burden in quality of life. Phenomenology, diagnosis and management of depressive, psychotic and anxiety disorders in epilepsy are reviewed.