Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More About Possible Epilepsy-BPD Link

I have previously posted about whether there might be some hereditary connection between epilepsy and Borderline Personality Disorder (see here and here). Well, I have more findings on that.

I previously mentioned that Bipolar Disorder symptoms and BPD symptoms are often confused with each other. About one-fifth of those diagnosed with BPD are also diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

Well, it turns out there is strong evidence of a correlative link between the occurrences of epilepsy in one's family and of someone in the family exhibiting bipolar symptoms. Accordingly,
After thoroughly examining the data, the researchers discovered that 12 percent of the epilepsy patients showed signs of bipolar symptoms – approximately twice the amount of all the other disorders, and six times the amount of those with no illnesses at all.
You can see a PDF on that study here.

There is also the matter of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). These seizures outwardly resemble epileptic seizures, but the sort of electrical activity in the brain that occurs in epileptic seizures are not detected in psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. However, there is a statistical correlation between someone having psychogenic non-epileptic seizures and exhibiting strong symptoms of diagnosable personality disorders, including BPD.

The drug carbamazepine (which has the brand name Tegretol) is used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and BPD alike.