Adults with Epilepsy Likely to Exhibit Symptoms of ADHD

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Adults with epilepsy are likely to exhibit symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder that impact their quality of life, according to a new study published in Epilepsia.

Of the 1,361 adults with active epilepsy, 251 (18.4%) were at risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and were more likely to have elevated depression and anxiety scores, higher seizure frequency, and antiepileptic drug polypharmacy, reported Alan B. Ettinger, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and colleagues.

The researchers evaluated the adults with self-reported epilepsy through several surveys, including the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale version 6 (ASRS-6), Physicians Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment 7 (GAD-7), as well as questions about seizure frequency and their use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Adults with ASRS-6 scores >14 were classified as ASRS+, and those with lower scores as ASRS−. The primary outcome measures included the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory 10 (QOLIE-10), Quality of Life and Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q), and the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). 

Adults classified as ASRS+ had a lower quality of life and worse physical and social functioning compared to those that classified as ASRS- (Beta [β] = −3.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] −4.19 to −1.96). ASRS+ individuals also had an increased rate of family, social, and work-related disability.

The researchers suggested that future studies focus on identifying the nature and cause behind ADHD symptoms in people with epilepsy. 

ADHD
Adults with Epilepsy Likely to Exhibit Symptoms of ADHD

To assess symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their impact among adults with epilepsy from a large community-based survey.

Adults who self-reported epilepsy were sent a postal survey including the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale version 6 (ASRS-6), Physicians Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment 7 (GAD-7), and questions about seizure frequency and number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during the preceding 3 months.

Among 1,361 of respondents with active epilepsy, 18.4% (n = 251) were classified as ASRS+ and at risk for ADHD. Compared to ASRS− cases, ASRS+ individuals were more likely to have elevated depression and anxiety scores as well as greater seizure frequency and more AED use (p < 0.05 for all). 

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