Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy: psychiatric comorbidity and impact on outcome

Epilepsy Behav. 2013 Jul;28 Suppl 1:S74-80. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.03.026.


Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) is a well-defined age-related idiopathic epilepsy syndrome. Past studies have emphasized the difficulties in the treatment of patients with JME, which have been attributed to some specific psychiatric, psychological, and psychosocial characteristics. These aspects have aroused a significant amount of interest in the last two decades. In this article, the available studies that investigated the prevalence of psychiatric disorders (PDs) in JME and its impact on seizure outcome were reviewed in order to provide an update to clinicians about these two important aspects associated with this common epilepsy syndrome. The review disclosed a high prevalence of PDs in patients with JME, particularly mood, anxiety, and personality disorders. In addition, most recent studies have also observed that overall prevalence of PDs in JME has not shown statistically significant differences when compared with TLE, an epilepsy syndrome where the psychiatric aspects are most frequently studied. Taken together, data regarding the prevalence of PDs and their possible consequences on seizure outcome on JME indicate that special attention should be directed to psychological disturbances and psychiatric symptoms in this epilepsy syndrome. The early recognition and treatment of psychiatric symptoms, as well as psychological disturbances and psychosocial difficulties, should be considered fundamental to JME prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Myoclonic Epilepsy, Juvenile / epidemiology*