Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Finds Surprising Links Between Depression, Suicide, And Epilepsy

Date:
October 10, 2005
Source:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Summary:
Researchers have found provocative evidence that the brain dysfunction that underlies epilepsy may also determine whether people are at risk for suicide. The study also suggests that depression and suicide may have different brain mechanisms.

Researchers have found provocative evidence that the brain dysfunctionthat underlies epilepsy may also determine whether people are at riskfor suicide. The study, published online October 10, 2005 in the Annalsof Neurology (www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ana), also suggests that depression and suicide may have different brain mechanisms.

Related Articles


"For reasons that are not understood, depression both increases therisk for developing epilepsy and is also common among people withepilepsy who experience many seizures," said lead author Dale C.Hesdorffer, Ph.D., of the Gertrude Sergievsky Center at ColumbiaUniversity.

It has commonly been assumed that the difficulties associatedwith living with epilepsy could provoke depression, and in some cases,an increased risk of suicide, the authors write. But is harder toexplain the opposite findings, that people who develop depression havea higher risk of later experiencing a first seizure.

While neuroscientists have postulated overlapping brain systemsfor depression and epilepsy, this evidence is still preliminary. In thepresent study, the researchers attempted to define more clearly therelationship between depression, suicide, and epilepsy.

"One question we had was whether some symptoms of depressionwere more important than others for increasing the risk for developingepilepsy," said Hesdorffer. "Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempt werepossibilities, because people with epilepsy seem to be more likely tocommit suicide than the general population. But we looked at allsymptoms of depression."

Hesdorffer and colleagues compared data for both epilepsy and depression in 324 people with epilepsy and 647 control subjects.

A history of depression increased the risk of epilepsy, but thestartling finding was that people with epilepsy were 4 times morelikely to have attempted suicide before ever having a seizure, evenafter other factors were taken into account like drinking alcohol,having depression, age, and gender.

The individual presence of other symptoms of depression,whether common (e.g., depressed mood) or more rare (e.g., weightchange) did not predict a greater likelihood of later seizures.

While this finding clearly suggests common underlying brainmechanisms for suicidal behavior and epilepsy, the results also suggestthat depression and suicidal behavior may be related to differentmechanisms.

"Increasingly, clinicians treating people with epilepsy askabout current depression, but they may not ask about past suicideattempt or suicidal thoughts," said Hesdorffer. "Our results may alertclinicians to the need to ask this question and offer any neededcounseling to prevent the occurrence of later completed suicide."

"We plan to follow up with studies designed to see whether theco-occurrence of these disorders is explained by shared geneticsusceptibility, and with studies that examine possible commonunderlying neurotransmitter abnormalities," said Hesdorffer.

###

Article: "Depression and Suicide Attempt as Risk Factors forIncident Unprovoked Seizures," Dale C. Hesdorffer, W. Allen Hauser,Elias Olafsson, Petur Ludvigsson, and Olafur Kjartansson, Annals ofNeurology; Published Online: October 10, 2005 (DOI: 10.1002/ana.20685).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Study Finds Surprising Links Between Depression, Suicide, And Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051010085822.htm>.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2005, October 10). Study Finds Surprising Links Between Depression, Suicide, And Epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051010085822.htm
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Study Finds Surprising Links Between Depression, Suicide, And Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051010085822.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins