TUNE IN, JOIN IN THE DIALOGUE: How should a reported increase in risk for morbidity in epilepsy patients change the way they are treated? In a July 19 online study in The Lancet, investigators reported that people with epilepsy are overall 11.1 times more likely to die prematurely than unaffected persons, 5.5 times more likely to die from non-vehicle accidents, and 3.7 times more likely to die from suicide. Among persons with epilepsy who die from an external cause, three-quarters of the cases involve a psychiatric diagnosis.
In a video interview, Neurology Today Editor-in-chief Steven P. Ringel, MD, and Associate Editor Robert Holloway, MD, discuss the pros and cons of the study methodology data — a review of data from national Swedish registry. Among the discussion points: Should the findings change the way neurologists deliver care to these patients? Should there be counseling for every patient? If so, who should provide, the neurologist, a primary care provider, or someone trained in behavioral health? Does it make sense for neurologists to administer a depression/psychiatric scale to all patients and create a risk score? What other strategies could be offered — patient support groups, group clinic visits? For more discussion, read the Sept. 5 Neurology Today story, “Epilepsy Patients at High Risk for Death, Psychiatric Disorders”: http://bit.ly/7qKpuK. Watch the video commentary: http://bit.ly/aNQ4KB.