June 21, 2005

Schizophrenia and Epilepsy

Epilepsy, Schizophrenia May Share Genetic Link

A new Danish study suggests that schizophrenia and epilepsy may share a genetic link. This information is especially valuable for families who have a history of both epilepsy and psychosis. According to the study, possessing a family history of both puts you at a "risk ...for schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like psychosis." Of course there are other factors to consider. The study also found that besides genetic factors, "environmental factors shared by family members may (play) an important role."

The researchers examined data on more than 2.27 million people born in Denmark between 1950-1987. They found that individuals with a history of epilepsy were at nearly 2.5 times the risk of developing schizophrenia, and nearly three times the risk of developing a schizophrenia-like psychosis, compared to people in the general population. This risk was the same for men and women, and increased with age.

The researchers also discovered that an increased risk was not connected to a specific type of epilepsy. "However, the older people were when they were first admitted to hospital for epilepsy, the greater their risk for schizophrenia or schizophrenia-like psychosis."


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Epilepsy Information:


I have a daugther, dignosis with schisoprenia-paranoic, 50,( she is violent aganst herselve and others, withouth her medicine) she has been in a private chatholic ( run by nun's)Mental Institution for 30 years.Now a new psychologist, said she is cure, I should take her to my home.!!! Do you know of any study done in patient's ben an inastitution that long if they can live "outside", I would like to read anything about this topic.
Manuel Avellan

Posted by: MANUEL AVELLAN at June 30, 2005 12:06 PM

I was born with infantile epilepsy and grew out of it. At the age of 30 I developed severe depression issues and by 31 had a gran mal seizure that put me in an emergency room. Since this I have developed schizophrenia affected psychosis and still have petit mal seizures. It runs in my family for both features, epilepsy and schizophrenia on my mother side from her father. It is genectically linked and the gran mal was like a switch that triggered the schizophrenia and magnified it. I have had schizophrenic signs since 3 or 5 years of age, especially after my father was killed in a car accident that involved our whole family. Now I am scraping by becuase I am a recluse and panic in public situations without medication. I was relieved to find out that this study exist, because it is true in my case, I just wish the study was more widely accepted in the medical world.

Posted by: William Palmer at February 8, 2007 07:16 PM

Hello my name is alex. I am interested to know. Are people with schizophrenia more likely to develop epilepsy if they have not shown signs of epilepsy before? This is the reverse of the Known study. Thanks so much.

Posted by: alexander at June 20, 2007 03:41 PM

I haven't at this point in time been diagnosed with epilepsy or schizophrenia. I have however been having seizures since i was 12 and haven't yet found a medicine that stablizes it.

I have been seeing things for the past 2 years off and on. I believe them to be real but many would call them hallucinations. I have no family history that we know of for either. But I have feelings of other... personalities... that make themselves very strong in my mind at some points. I want to know if I could have schizophrenia and epilepsy and what i should do about it, my options are still limited as i am still in a public school and have not yet graduated. Dealing with people keeps becoming more difficult every day. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Posted by: Thaxsis at January 19, 2008 12:10 PM

Hi my name is Emily Malloy and I was officially diagnosed with Epilepsy in Feburary of this year. I am 20 years old and I have Juvnille Myclonic Epilepsy (JME). If any of you know that is a genetic type of epilepsy and it has always been there and I will have to be treated probally the rest of my life. The first signs of my condition were when I was a child about maybe seven or eight, I would "daydream" as many like to call it but I was actually having "absent seizures" and then when I turned sixteen, I experimented with going to parties and staying up late and going to work the next morning. I would have Myclonic jerks (involuntary muscle movements) and a few times I feel to the floor but never had a full blown grand mal but I have had every other type of seizure. No one else every saw it so my family never believed me but when I started college it got worse and I finally went to the doctor even though I had no support I knew something was not right. I had an EEG done and there was a lot of abnormal brain activity going on especially when they did the red strobe light and the hypervenlating breathing. I am on Keppra and I have to make sure I get the right amount of sleep. It is an adjustment but I am starting to feel better. If any one has any questions about whether or not they think they have JME please contact me and I will give you more info!

Posted by: Emliy Malloy at March 21, 2008 10:06 AM

I can relate to Emily's situation. I found out that I had epilepsy in my second year of college. When I was younger in 3rd grade I was thought to have ADHD and I was placed on medication for it for 2 years. While there have been many dicussions on the link of ADD or ADHD and epilepsy I believe that I was misdiagnosed with ADHD. I had stuggled with jerks in my body for years especially when I was overworked or hungry. My family never saw these jerks and it was until my second year of college that I went to my doctor. I went though similar tests that Emily mentioned. My family has a vast history of mental illness. Both of my parents have severe paranoid schizophrenia. So I honestly believe that there is a link to epilespy and schizophrenia.

Posted by: Tobi at June 1, 2008 02:34 AM

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