A bidirectional relationship between schizophrenia and epilepsy emerged from an analysis of a health insurance database, which revealed an 8 times greater likelihood of schizophrenia occurring in patients with epilepsy, and a 6 times greater likelihood of epilepsy in those with schizophrenia.1
Utilizing data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database, the investigators identified 5195 patients with schizophrenia, and over 20,000 subjects without schizophrenia to form the comparison group. The incidence of epilepsy was noted to be higher in men than in women in both the schizophrenia and control groups. Schizophrenia occurrence increased among patients with epilepsy in both sexes.
The results suggest the possibility that the conditions may share common cause, the investigators comment in their report in Epilepsia in September.1 Citing other research, they note, “Both neuropathic and genetic findings suggest that neurodevelopment and its abnormalities may represent a framework associated with the co-occurrence of epilepsy and schizophrenia.”
1. Chang YT, Chen PC, Tsai IJ, et al. Bidirectional relation between schizophrenia and epilepsy: A population-based retrospective cohort study. Epilepsia. 2011 Sep 19. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03268 [Epub ahead of print]. Accessed October 6, 2011.