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Are psychiatric disorders independent risk factors for new-onset epilepsy in older individuals?

Ettinger AB, Copeland LA, Zeber JE, Van Cott AC, Pugh MJ. Are psychiatric disorders independent risk factors for new-onset epilepsy in older individuals? Epilepsy & Behavior : E&B. 2010 Jan 1; 17(1):70-4.

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This retrospective study examined whether psychiatric conditions are directly related to epilepsy or, rather, are associated with underlying central nervous system (CNS) disorders linked to subsequent epilepsy. We examined data from a sample of older veterans ( > 65 years) receiving care from the Veterans Health Administration during fiscal year 2000. We compared individuals with new-onset epilepsy and individuals without epilepsy to examine the extent to which psychiatric disorders were associated with new-onset epilepsy; this analysis controlled for demographic and premorbid neurological risk factors previously associated with new-onset epilepsy. Premorbid psychiatric conditions occurred at higher rates in the epilepsy versus nonepilepsy groups, foremost including depression (17% vs 12%), anxiety (12% vs 8%), psychosis (12% vs 5%), and substance abuse (8% vs 4%). However, in the final model, only psychosis (OR = 1.4, CI 1.2-1.6) was significantly associated with epilepsy when controlling for neurological disorders and psychiatric conditions (e.g., stroke, dementia, brain tumor, head injury).

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