Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many epilepsy patients who fail to take medications experience depression

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
Neurological Surgery, P.C.
Summary:
Many patients who fail to take their antiseizure medications are suffering from depression, researchers have found. Previous studies have found a high incidence of depression in people with epilepsy, but this is the first research to show a direct link between depression and medication nonadherence.

A new study led by Alan B. Ettinger, M.D., M.B.A., Director of the Epilepsy Center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC), has found that many patients who fail to take their antiseizure medications are suffering from depression. Previous studies by Dr. Ettinger and others have found a high incidence of depression in people with epilepsy, but this is the first research to show a direct link between depression and medication nonadherence. The study will be published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Epilepsy & Behavior, and is available online ahead of publication.

Related Articles


"Our previous studies have shown that there are substantial consequences to missing doses of antiepileptic medications, even occasionally," said Dr. Ettinger. "We have also seen that depression impacts quality of life. Now we see that depression is a significant factor in drug nonadherence. This demonstrates that it is critical for physicians to screen their patients for depression, and to talk with them about the importance of taking all of their medications when scheduled."

Missing even one dose of an antiepileptic drug can cause breakthrough seizures, even in patients whose epilepsy is well controlled by medications. This can have devastating effects -- including hospitalizations, falls and related injuries, and even death. Studies have shown that 30-50% of people with epilepsy don't adhere to their medication regimen.

"Other studies have shown a link between depression and failure to take medications in conditions such as hypertension and HIV, but little was previously known about the potential impact of depression on antiepileptic drug adherence," said Dr. Ettinger.

Among other factors thought to play a role in antiepileptic drug nonadherence are memory difficulties and medication side effects.

In the current study, researchers accessed a nationwide health plan/pharmacy database, and selected a sample of 10,000 epilepsy patients. 2,750 patients were randomly selected from this group and mailed an in-depth survey that included a number of validated questionnaires on medication adherence, depression status, seizure severity and frequency, and quality of life, among other factors. Questionnaires used in the survey included the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory for Epilepsy (NDDI-E), which asks questions that are highly specific to epilepsy and is considered highly reliable. 465 patients completed and returned the survey. Claims data were analyzed with the widely used medication possession ratio (MPR), to measure drug adherence. (MPR represents the proportion of time that an individual was theoretically in possession of a medication.)

The researchers conducted a path analysis, a highly reliable and sophisticated type of statistical modeling, to determine the relationships between depression, drug adherence, seizure severity and quality of life. One key finding was that depression, as determined by the NDDI-E, was significantly correlated with an elevated risk of antiepileptic drug nonadherence. Depression, as measured by the NDDI-E and another survey instrument, was also associated with low quality of life scores. In addition, patients with depression were more likely to report having more severe seizures.

"We have known for a while that depression impacts patients' quality of life, and we know that it can be treated; now we know that there is a direct link to patient harm," said Dr. Ettinger, who works on a number of committees through the American Epilepsy Society to educate clinicians on the importance of depression screening.

Dr. Ettinger suggests that neurologists inquire about each patient's mood and quality of life, as well as medication adherence, during office visits. There are also brief questionnaires that patients can complete in the waiting room to indicate potential mental health issues. He also points out that some antiepileptic medications are now available in once-daily formulations (making it easier for patients to remember to take them), and that there are other medication adherence reminders now available, including smartphone alarm apps.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Neurological Surgery, P.C.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alan B. Ettinger, Margaret B. Good, Ranjani Manjunath, R. Edward Faught, Tim Bancroft. The relationship of depression to antiepileptic drug adherence and quality of life in epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 2014; 36: 138 DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.05.011

Cite This Page:

Neurological Surgery, P.C.. "Many epilepsy patients who fail to take medications experience depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611131654.htm>.
Neurological Surgery, P.C.. (2014, June 11). Many epilepsy patients who fail to take medications experience depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611131654.htm
Neurological Surgery, P.C.. "Many epilepsy patients who fail to take medications experience depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611131654.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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