Psychiatric comorbidity in patients with pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy and psychiatric outcome after epilepsy surgery

Epilepsy Behav. 2012 Mar;23(3):272-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.12.001. Epub 2012 Feb 15.


There are only a few studies in which both preoperative psychiatric comorbidity in pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy and its outcome after epilepsy surgery have been investigated. In this study, 144 patients evaluated for epilepsy surgery received psychiatric examination, 84 proceeding to intervention were reassessed postoperatively. Preoperatively, 60% met criteria for ICD-10- or epilepsy-specific psychiatric diagnosis. Twenty-seven percent, predominantly female, suffered from dysphoric disorder (DD) associated with temporal epileptogenic foci. Prevalence of DD correlated with complex partial seizure frequency and presence of ictal fear suggesting limbic-cortical dysregulation. Psychotic syndromes were linked to a history of febrile convulsions and left-sided temporomesial epileptogenic foci. High seizure frequency and early epilepsy onset predisposed to the development of personality disorders. Postoperative assessment revealed 18% of patients with "de novo" interictal affective disorders after surgery. Symptoms in 48% of patients with preoperative affective syndromes and 60% of patients with DD remitted after surgery. Seizure freedom and improved psychosocial status predicted remission of preoperative psychopathology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsies, Partial / epidemiology*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / surgery*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgery / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors