Schizophrenia and Epilepsy — The Connection | September 15, 2013
But now, research has shown that schizophrenia and epilepsy are linked in both directions.
Previous studies had suggested a prevalence of schizophrenia and psychosis among epilepsy patients.
An early Danish study of more than 2 million people concluded, there’s a “strong association” between epilepsy and schizophrenia.
People with epilepsy had about 2.5 times the risk of schizophrenia as the general population, reported researchers.
Yet that’s “fairly low,” says Charles Raison, MD. Former consulting psychiatrist for the epilepsy service at the University
of California at Los Angeles.
“Most people with epilepsy probably aren’t in danger of schizophrenia, he says.”
He said that the schizophrenia risk is very small — about 1%, in general.
But even with the higher risk cited in the study,people with epilepsy still have only a 2-3 in 100 chance of developing schizophrenia.
“That’s of some concern,” says Raison: but you can get a large increase in risk [and] if the risk is small, you’re still very safe.”
Yet there was the psychosis factor, too.
He questioned when to call chronic psychotic conditions schizophrenia.
The findings “probably reflect an underlying link, physiologically.
There may be abnormalities in the ways neurons are wired together.”