According to the results of a new study, children who suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy are more likely to be diagnosed with depression. In fact, as many as 40 percent of kids with temporal lobe epilepsy will be at an increased risk of suffering from various behavioral problems, including depression, anxiety, learning problems and attention problems. The results of this study are published in Epilepsia.

What makes this study significant is the fact that it highlights how important it is for young epilepsy patients to be given regular psychiatric evaluations. A previous study was performed in 2009 that already linked depression and temporal lobe epilepsy in kids and teens.

“Our research examined whether psychiatric illness was more prominent in children who were unresponsive to anti-seizure medications and had seizures in the temporal lobe versus elsewhere in the brain,” explains lead study author, Dr. Jay Salpekar with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “In children who do not respond to drug therapy, epilepsy surgery may be the only option to improve their quality of life. Understanding the pediatric patients’ mental health status is important, as the severity of psychiatric illness may impact the overall risk-benefit of epilepsy surgery.”

This current study found that 80 percent of the young patients with epilepsy had psychiatric and behavioral problems, which is far beyond the average behavioral and psychiatric problems linked to kids with epilepsy that is localized to the temporal lobe, as opposed to epilepsy forms that are localized to different areas of the brain. That is well above the usual rate which is about 20-40 percent. “Given that psychiatric illness, particularly depression, is so prominent in those with temporal lobe seizures, routine psychiatric evaluation appears to be important not only for adults, but also for children and adolescents prior to epilepsy surgery,” Salpekar concludes. “In fact, it may be beneficial for most patients with medically refractory epilepsy to have a psychiatric assessment, regardless of seizure localization, to improve quality of life.”

This information may help in treating the young patients with epilepsy who aren’t responding to anti-seizure drugs like Topamax. Topamax has been linked to an increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts as well as birth defects in women whose babies are exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of those birth defects linked to Topamax use during pregnancy include cleft lips, cleft palates, genital defects and other birth malformations.

If your baby was born with birth defects after in-utero exposure to Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your child’s injuries.