Neuropsychiatry

Psychiatric disorders in epilepsy

Patients with epilepsy are at increased risk of developing psychiatric problems such as mood disorders and psychosis compared to those without epilepsy. We are interested in investigating the underlying mechanisms involved.

Psychiatric disorders following epilepsy surgery

J Foong, P Thompson, S Tarry

Psychiatric disorders can develop for the first time, or pre existing symptoms be exacerbated following epilepsy surgery, even in patients with a good postoperative seizure outcome. We are interested in determining the psychiatric morbidity after epilepsy surgery and predicting factors. We are collecting presurgical and postsurgical psychiatric data prospectively on patients undergoing epilepsy surgery at the National Hospital. We also plan to examine the relationship between cognitive function and the development of postsurgical psychiatric disorders.

Psychosis following temporal lobe surgery

D Fluegel, D Marsden, M Thom, J Foong

Psychosis has been reported to arise for the first time in patients with epilepsy who have undergone temporal lobe surgery. The aim of this work is to determine whether there are specific clinical features or histopathological changes associated with the development of psychosis following epilepsy surgery.

We have identified patients with a diagnosis of post-operative psychosis, including interictal and postictal types, who underwent epilepsy surgery at the NHNN. They are being compared to a group of non-psychotic patients from the same surgical series. We are conducting further stereological and immunohistochemistry investigations of the surgical tissue (e.g. neuronal density or distribution, dendritic/synaptic organisation) to determine whether there are histopathological changes which can distinguish between patients with and without psychosis.

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