Is Gender Factor in Epilepsy and Psychiatric Symptoms?

Psychiatric characteristics vary among epileptic girls and boys

(RxWiki News) A new study shows that kids with epilepsy often have psychiatric symptoms and these symptoms vary depending on gender.

Girls were more prone than boys to experence psychiatic and behavioral health issues.


Lead researcher, Kristin Alfstad,  neurologist, National Centre for Epilepsy/Department of Neurology, Oslo University, Norway, conducted the research.  She found 42 of the 110 children had psychiatric problems.

"Individuals with epilepsy should talk to their doctor about co-existing psychiatric symptoms"

Girls in this study were more prone to psychiatric symptoms, where as boys were more affected by other factors such as socioeconomic status.

Dr. Aldstad continues to say that there are many risk factors that play a role in developing psychiatric symptoms, and these symptoms differ in boys and girls.

Dr. Alfstad recommends further testing to be done and to look at different age groups and high risk factors in order to properly treat the psychiatric symptoms for children with epilepsy

In Depth

  • The study examined 110 children, with epilepsy from the ages eight to thirteen. Additionally, the parents completed a detailed questionnaire.
  • This questionnaire used is known as the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) that asked questions about one's social interactions, behavior and symptoms.
  • Previous studies found that children with epilepsy also have anxiety, depression or ADD.
  • A 2003 study found that 37% of children with epilepsy also had a psychiatric disorder.
  • The explanation for this is still unclear and further investigation is Needed.
Review Date: 
April 11, 2011