Drug therapy for children with neuropsychiatric and epilepsy co-morbidities

Author(s): Alex Moire

The fact that a wide range of comorbidities can be linked to epilepsy is becoming more and more accepted. Although epileptic seizures are an essential component of childhood epilepsy, a variety of neurological, mental health and cognitive disorders contribute to the disease burden, reducing quality of life. Depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, sleep disorders, attention deficits, cognitive impairment, and migraine are the most common comorbid conditions in children with epilepsy. While epilepsy can cause comorbidities, many childhood comorbidities have a bidirectional relationship, with epilepsy increasing the risk of the comorbid condition and the comorbid condition increasing the risk of epilepsy. The bidirectional component of epilepsy and the comorbidities propose a typical hidden neurotic reason for both the seizures and comorbid condition. There has been a lag in the development of effective therapies for pediatric epilepsies, partly due to concerns that medications used to treat the comorbid conditions could increase seizure susceptibility. There is now some evidence to suggest that the majority of drugs used to treat comorbid conditions are safe and do not lower the threshold for seizures. Sadly, the proof appearance drugs are powerful in treating a large number of the youth comorbidities of epilepsy is very restricted. In the treatment of childhood epilepsy comorbidities, randomized, placebo-controlled drug trials for efficacy and safety are greatly needed.