Psychiatric Comorbidity in Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy


Address correspondence and requests to Dr. Eugen Trinka, Department of Neurology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstr. 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria. E-mail:


Summary: Objective: To assess the prevalence of psychiatric disturbances among patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME).

Methods: Forty-three patients with JME (22 female, 21 male, mean age 32.4 ± 13, range 15–63) were assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interviews for DSM-IV (SCID-I and SCID-II). Current and lifetime psychiatric diagnoses were assigned.

Results: Thirty-five percent of the JME patients suffered from one or more psychiatric disorders (Axis I and Axis II). Personality disorders were present in 23% and Axis I disorders in 19%. Altogether, 47% had a psychiatric disorder at any time of their life.

Conclusions: Psychiatric diagnoses are slightly higher than in representative community samples. The substantially increased number of personality disorders in JME patients might be attributed to frontal lobe deficits.