Literature Monitor

Anxiety Plagues Many Patients with Epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav; 2018 Aug; Munger Clary et al.


Nearly half of patients with epilepsy have symptoms of high anxiety according to a study of adults treated in tertiary care centers.

  • The study, which included 540 patients, evaluated the presence of anxiety with the Symptoms Checklist 90-R anxiety subscale. It also evaluated patients for depression with separate scales.
  • 250 patients (46.1%) reported high anxiety.
  • Focal epilepsy and epilepsy of unknown type, as well as depression scores, were independently linked to high anxiety.
  • In patients with focal epilepsy, mesial temporal sclerosis was independently associated with high anxiety.
  • Other factors linked to high anxiety included lower education level, being non-white, having Spanish as a native language, prior head trauma, and polydrug therapy for epilepsy.
  • The researchers suggest that screening for anxiety in an epilepsy clinic can help spot patients in need of treatment.

Munger Clary HM, Snively BM, Hamberger MJ. Anxiety is common and independently associated with clinical features of epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2018;85:64-71.

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