Epilepsy Treatments May Cause Psychotic Disorders

Antiepileptic treatment was most likely to affect women and patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

Findings from a recent study suggest that treatment with antiepileptic drugs may cause psychotic disorders in certain patients.

Prior evidence suggests that patients with epilepsy, a neurological disorder, have an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders. However, researchers in the current study, published by Brain, find that treatment for epilepsy could potentially be increasing the risk of psychotic symptoms.

Researchers analyzed the medical records of 2630 patients with epilepsy, and found that 3.7% of patients were diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. Among these patients, approximately 14.3% of disorders were triggered by antiepileptic drugs, according to the study.

Researchers also found that a majority of the patients who had antiepileptic-induced psychosis were female, and/or had temporal lobe epilepsy.

Overall, they discovered that 1 in 7 cases of psychotic disorders among patients with epilepsy could be linked to antiepileptic drugs. Women and patients with temporal lobe epilepsy were the most likely to develop psychotic disorders in response to the treatment, the study concluded.