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Connection between schizophrenia and epilepsy

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Schizophrenia and epilepsy may be linked. Researchers in Taiwan put forth the idea of the link when found a study participants with epilepsy were nearly eight times more likely to develop schizophrenia. Furthermore, people diagnosed with schizophrenia are six times more likely to develop epilepsy.

Other studies have already shown that psychosis is more prevalent among people diagnosed with epilepsy, and there appears to be a significant link between schizophrenia and epilepsy. It could be that as a result of great susceptibility to both illnesses due to similar or shared genetic, environmental or neurobiological causes.

There have also been other studies which have linked depression, mood disorders and epilepsy in both directions, but not schizophrenia. For this study, Dr. I-Ching Chou, from the China Medical University Hospital and an Associate Profession at China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, examined records of over 5,000 people with schizophrenia and over 11,000 records of people with epilepsy. All of the patients had been diagnosed over a nine year period. With so many records evaluated, it is a convincing study.

That’s when they confirmed the incidences of disease are bidirectional. They also discovered that slightly more men than women who have epilepsy eventually go on to become diagnosed with schizophrenia.

“This relationship may be due to common pathogenesis in these diseases such as genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, but further investigation of the pathological mechanisms are needed,” said Chou. “However, there may be some questions to ask about the reliability of the schizophrenia and epilepsy diagnoses in the study because it is a retrospective health register study and both conditions can be difficult to diagnose.”

Source: Medical News Today, BBC

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