Mood disorders and their treatment in patients with epilepsy

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2005 Winter;17(1):20-8. doi: 10.1176/jnp.17.1.20.


Mood disorders in patients with epilepsy are not frequently diagnosed and not treated. Because of the high prevalence of depression and the resulting high suicide rate, precise diagnosis and effective therapy are very important. Frequently, the clinical pictures of depressive syndromes in epileptics do not correspond with those described in operationalized classification systems such as ICD-10 or DSM-IV. The incidence of depressive disorders in epileptics is estimated in the literature to be 30%-70%. Multifactorial pathogenetic models include the type of seizures, the location of the epileptic focus, and neurotransmitter dysfunctions, as well as hereditary and psychosocial influences, and negative psychotropic effects of antiepileptic drugs. Despite an insufficient number of available controlled studies, based on the current data, treatment with the newer serotonergic antidepressants can be recommended for patients with epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Epilepsy / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / complications
  • Mood Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mood Disorders / psychology*
  • Mood Disorders / therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressive Agents