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Epilepsy Behav. 2003 Oct;4 Suppl 2:S2-12.

Medical comorbidities in the treatment of epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology, Comprehensive Epilepsy Management Center, Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 111 East 210th Street, Bronx, NY 10467-2490, USA.


The treatment of epilepsy extends far beyond seizure control. Many comorbidities have a significant impact on the medical management and quality of life of patients with epilepsy. In this review, we examine interactions between epilepsy and some common medical conditions. Psychiatric disorders with a high prevalence in epilepsy include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and psychosis. Depression is common, psychosis occurs both in direct relation to seizures and interictally, and suicide rates are increased. Changes in sexual function and reduced fertility and marriage rates are described, including a discussion of polycystic ovary syndrome, which is increased in women with epilepsy. The effects of other chronic medical comorbid conditions are reviewed, including the effects of antiepileptic medications on bone health and the impact of renal insufficiency on pharmacological therapy of epilepsy.

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