37. Recognizing and Treating Psychiatric Comorbidity in Epilepsy

  1. John W. Miller MD, PhD Director, UW Regional Epilepsy Center, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery2 and
  2. Howard P. Goodkin MD, PhD The Shure Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Director, Division of Pediatric Neurology3
  1. Jay Salpekar

Published Online: 10 JAN 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch37



How to Cite

Salpekar, J. (2014) Recognizing and Treating Psychiatric Comorbidity in Epilepsy, in Epilepsy (eds J. W. Miller and H. P. Goodkin), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118456989.ch37

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Author Information

  1. Center for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 JAN 2014
  2. Published Print: 14 FEB 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118456941

Online ISBN: 9781118456989



  • psychiatry;
  • epilepsy;
  • comorbidity;
  • diagnosis;
  • treatment


Psychiatric illness is significantly overrepresented in persons with epilepsy. Etiology of psychiatric comorbidity is still unclear, but interdisciplinary management from both neurology and psychiatry is often necessary. Depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are particularly common and can be readily identified. Although the evidence is limited regarding treatment for behavioral symptoms associated with epilepsy, successful treatments are available and are similar to those utilized for patients without epilepsy. Most psychiatric medications may be used safely in persons with epilepsy. Clinicians who proactively identify and treat psychiatric comorbidity will find that treatment outcome for epilepsy is improved and overall quality of life is greatly enhanced.