22-01-2015 | Nearly 1 in 5 Adults with Epilepsy show symptoms of ADHD

22 January 2015
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Newly published research shows that nearly one fifth of adults with epilepsy show signs of ADHD. The study which has been published in Epilepsia this month was conducted in the US. Lead author Alan B. Ettinger reported the findings in respect of the impact of symptoms of ADHD on the quality of life of adults with epilepsy. A total number of 1,361 adults with active epilepsy took part in the study and of these it was found that 251 (18.4%) were at risk of ADHD. Further findings were that this group was more likely to have higher rates of depression and anxiety as well as a greater number of seizures and higher rates of multiple drug therapies for epilepsy.

The researchers assessed adults who self reported as having active epilepsy. The assessment tools used were a variety of standardised tests to evaluate ADHD in adults, health questionnaires , assessments of anxiety and quality of life measures. Data about seizure frequency and epilepsy medications was compiled also. On measures of ADHD positive ratings (ADHD+)were given to those with higher scores ADHD scales who showed most symptoms and minus (ADHD-) ratings to those with lower scores who showed the least amount of ADHD symptoms.

The outcomes showed that with higher ratings for ADHD had lower quality of life and their social and physical functioning was less favourable than those classed as having lower ADHD scores. Adults with higher ADHD ratings also had higher levels of social, family and work-related difficulties.

This research indicates that positive ratings of ADHD may be an indicator of poorer outcomes across a range of areas for a significant minority of adults with epilepsy and that future studies need to focus on identifying the causation of ADHD symptoms in this group. 

Reference :-

Alan B. Ettinger, Ruth Ottman, Richard B. Lipton, Joyce A. Cramer, Kristina M. Fanning and Michael L. Reed (2015) Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in adults with self reported epilepsy : results from a national epidemiologic survey of epilepsy. Epilepsia . doi :10.1111/epi.12897

For original article see Wiley Online Library


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