We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Epilepsy “more common” amongst people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder - research

12 January, 2006

New research into
medical conditions and treatment amongst people with mental health
conditions has found that people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
(manic depression) have a higher risk of epilepsy.

The main finding from the study, commissioned by the Disability Rights Commission,
is that patients with mental health problems may not be receiving the
appropriate screening or treatments for illnesses including heart
disease and stroke.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham,
led by Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, analysed the medical records of
1.7 million people registered with 242 doctors' surgeries. The results
suggest that epilepsy is over twice as common amongst people with
schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

In
addition, the study found that patients with mental health problems are
more likely to have higher levels of risk factors that could increase
their chances of suffering from illnesses such as heart disease than
other patients without mental health problems. For example, obesity was
present in one-third of those with schizophrenia, compared to 21 per
cent of the remaining population and 61 per cent of people with
schizophrenia were smokers, compared to 33 per cent of people without
mental health problems.

Earlier research suggests that there may be links between epilepsy, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder