We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Warning message

This article was published in February 2015. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

ADHD symptoms in adults with epilepsy

10 Feb 2015

A new US study has explored the link between epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Findings suggest that almost a fifth of adults with epilepsy display symptoms of ADHD

The study was conducted in New York, led by Dr Allen Ettinger. His team sent out a postal survey to a national cross-section of people with active seizures. Of those, 1,361 responded. Their responses were then analysed with a variety of tools to give them study findings. These findings were then published in an online edition of the medical journal Epilepsia on 15 January.

Findings suggest that over 18 per cent of adults with epilepsy experience symptoms of ADHD. These symptoms include things like having a short attention span or finding it difficult to sit still.

ADHDFindings also showed that having ADHD symptoms was associated with poorer psychological health. People with epilepsy and symptoms of ADHD were eight times more likely to have symptoms of anxiety. They were also nine times more likely to experience depression.

What isn’t clear from this study is whether ADHD in epilepsy is the same as that experienced in the general population. If it is, there are effective treatments available.

Dr Ettinger said in a press release: “This study reinforces the fact that we have to broaden our view of what epilepsy entails. Our patients may also have psychiatric comorbidities… Screening for and treating these may make a great difference to patients.

“As a next step, we need to validate measures to screen for ADHD specifically in epilepsy and clarify the nature of ADHD symptoms in adults with epilepsy.”

You may also like...

Epilepsy and autism: link discovered

PhD researcher SallyAnn Wakeford at the University of Bath explored the experiences of adults with epilepsy – and has uncovered definite evidence of a link between epilepsy and autism

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment...

Question about your epilepsy?

Your question will be sent to our helpline advisors.

Have a comment about this page?

All comments are reviewed by a moderator before publishing. Comments will be edited or deleted if they are offensive, libellous, slanderous, abusive, commercial or irrelevant.

We ask for your email when you make a comment through this website. This means that we can let you know directly that we have replied to you. By making a comment through the website, you allow us to use the comment in our publicity without using your name. If we would like to use your name, we will email you to get your permission.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
2 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.