According to information from a new study conducted by Rhode Island Hospital and published in Epilepsia,traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases patients’ risks of developing depression if they already suffer from psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). The paper was written by W. Curt LaFrance Jr., M.D., M.P.H., director of neuropsychiatry and behavioral neurology.

“Some patients who sustain a TBI develop seizures,” LaFrance said. “Very often, these seizures are believed to be epileptic in nature, and the patient, therefore, is treated for epilepsy. Later the seizures are found to be PNES. This study demonstrates the prevalence of co-morbid mild TBI and PNES, which could suggest that some patients are being inappropriately treated for epilepsy with antiepileptic drugs, while not being treated for their actual illness: non-epileptic seizures.”

During the study, researchers compared patients who had PNES and TBI to patients who didn’t have TBI. The results of the study showed that the patients who had TBI also suffered from more mood-related conditions and were more likely to collect disability than the patients who did not have TBI. What this means is that the study showed that more attention has to be paid to patients suffering from TBI when it came to finding the right treatment for their seizures.

“Another significant finding from the study was that if a patient had both PNES and TBI, the combination resulted in 2.75 odds increase of having PTSD, and triple the odds increase of having a history of trauma/abuse,” LaFrance said. “This finding illustrates the importance of the ‘double hit’ of emotional and physical traumatic experiences that may occur with abuse and/or a head injury commonly found in the PNES population. This study shows that TBI and PNES are significantly associated with a cluster of diagnoses including depression and PTSD, personality and/or trauma/abuse history, all of which could have an impact on functioning.”

While it is common for epileptic patients to be diagnosed with depression and other mood disorders, it is difficult for doctors to find the right treatment option for both conditions. On its own, epilepsy is often treated with anti-seizure medications like Topamax. Topamax has been linked to serious side effects including birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant. Children may be born with birth defects such as PPHN, spina bifida, neural tube defects, oral clefts and heart, lung and brain defects after exposure to Topamax in-utero.

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.