Prevalence of mood disorders in patients with epilepsy: a cross-sectional case-control study

L. M. Specchio, A. La Neve, A. Spinelli, L. Tramacere, M. R. Mazzeo, E. Beghi

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Mood disorders, mostly depression, are reported to be most common in patients with epilepsy compared to the general population However, the prevalence rates of mood disorders in epilepsy vary greatly across studies, depending on several variables, such as the study population, the type of epilepsy, the definition of type of depression and other mood disorders, and the study design and method of assessment. To define the prevalence and type of mood disorders in patients with epilepsy, and to assess whether epilepsy is associated to higher prevalence of mood disorders, a cross-sectional, case-control study was undertaken at the Epilepsy Centre of Bari, comparing a sample of adult patients with idiopathic or remote symptomatic epilepsy to an age and sex-matched normal individuals seen at the clinic for nonmedical reasons. Patients with epilepsy and matched controls were submitted to psychiatric interview using the Clinical Depression Questionnaire (CDQ-IPAT) which is used as a screening instrument for the detection of mood disorders. The syndromic diagnosis of mood disorder, where present, was confirmed by using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM IV (axis I) Disorders (SCID-I/P). The main demographic and socio-economic variables were recorded in both groups; the type of epilepsy and the current drug treatment were also recorded. At the completion of the study the sample will include 150 patients and 150 matched controls. Based on preliminary assessment of 57 cases and 57 controls, mood disorders were recorded in 45% of patients with epilepsy and in 19% of the normal individuals (chi-square 8.9; p 0.003) Depressive episodes were the most frequent complaint in both groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127
Number of pages1
JournalItalian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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