Exploring the genetic overlap between psychiatric illness and epilepsy: A review

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CiaránCampbell, Gianpiero L.Cavalleri, Norman Delanty


There is a long-documented epidemiological link between epilepsy and psychiatric disorders. People with epilepsy are at an increased risk for a variety of psychiatric illnesses, as are their family members, and people with epilepsy may experience psychiatric side effects because of their antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). In recent years, large-scale, collaborative international studies have begun to shed light on the role of genetic variation in both epilepsy and psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. But so far, finding shared genetic links between epilepsy and psychiatric illness has proven surprisingly difficult. This review will discuss the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities in epilepsy, recent advances in genetic research into both epilepsy and psychiatric illness, and the extent of our current knowledge of the genetic overlap between these two important neurobiological conditions.


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