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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 124-131

Depression among school aged epileptic children and their siblings

Neuropsychiatry and Pediatric Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Heba Abou El-Wafa
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Alexandria University, 21511 Alexandria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1105.166349

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Introduction Researches on children and adolescents with epilepsy have revealed a high incidence of psychological and behavioral difficulties. For a longtime, patients and physicians tended to focus solely on the control of epileptic seizures, while disregarding the presence of comorbid psychiatric symptoms and disorders. Recognition of their negative impact in the life of patients with epilepsy in recent years has highlighted the need for the early identification of psychiatric symptoms. Aim of the work The work aimed to study the prevalence of depression in school aged epileptic children and their siblings and to study the possible risk factors of depressive disorders in those children with epilepsy and their siblings. Patients and methods The study included 150 school children divided into three groups: epileptic children, their siblings, and a healthy control group. They have been all subjected to history taking, neurological examination, psychiatric interview, electroencephalography, and psychometric assessment using Children's Depression Inventory, Arabic form. Results We found a significant relationship between the prevalence of depression and focal seizures (P < 0.001) especially frontal and temporal lobe epilepsy; however, we did not find a statistically significant relationship between depression and other seizures related risk factors. There was a significantly (P = 0.002) poor school performance among epileptic children (42%) compared with their siblings (16%) and the control children (12%), and also there was a significant relationship between poor school performance in epileptic children and high prevalence of depression (P = 0.025) among these children. Conclusion There is no great impact of epilepsy on the social or psychological life of the siblings especially among young children. Despite the high prevalence of depression among young epileptic children, it was not statistically significant compared with the control children. Moreover, there is a significant relationship between focal seizures and depression especially temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy. Depression as a comorbidity in epileptic children further compromises their school performance.

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