Epilepsy as a Network Disorder (1): What can we learn from other network disorders such as autistic spectrum disorder and mood disorders?

Epilepsy Behav. 2017 Dec:77:106-113. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.09.014. Epub 2017 Oct 26.


Epilepsy is a neurologic condition which often occurs with other neurologic and psychiatric disorders. The relation between epilepsy and these conditions is complex. Some population-based studies have identified a bidirectional relation, whereby not only patients with epilepsy are at increased risk of suffering from some of these neurologic and psychiatric disorders (migraine, stroke, dementia, autism, depression, anxiety disorders, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and psychosis), but also patients with these conditions are at increased risk of suffering from epilepsy. The existence of common pathogenic mechanisms has been postulated as a potential explanation of this phenomenon. To reassess the relationships between neurological and psychiatric conditions in general, and specifically autism, depression, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, a recent meeting brought together basic researchers and clinician scientists entitled "Epilepsy as a Network Disorder." This was the fourth in a series of conferences, the "Fourth International Halifax Conference and Retreat". This manuscript summarizes the proceedings on potential relations between Epilepsy on the one hand and autism and depression on the other. A companion manuscript provides a summary of the proceedings about the relation between epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, closed by the role of translational research in clarifying these relationships. The review of the topics in these two manuscripts will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms operant in some of the common neurologic and psychiatric comorbidities of epilepsy.

Keywords: Autistic spectrum disorder; Cortisol; Glutamate; Major depression; Stress.

Publication types

  • Congress

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / complications*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Epilepsy / complications*
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / complications*
  • Mood Disorders / psychology