There may be a genetic link between epilepsy and depression, according to scientists at Columbia and Rutgers Universities. The study, published in the journal Epilepsia, focused on people with focal epilepsy, in which seizures start in one specific part of the brain. Researchers found that those with focal epilepsy are more likely to have mood disorders, including depression.
Other studies have found that seizures are worse for epileptics with mood disorders, which often go undiagnosed and affect their quality of life. The study’s authors say that more effort needs to go toward identifying mood disorders among people with epilepsy and treating both conditions. In the U.S., about 2.3 million adults and more than 450,000 children and adolescents have epilepsy, and anyone can develop the disorder.