Psychiatric co-morbidity in 75 patients undergoing epilepsy surgery: Lack of correlation with pathological findings

A. M. Siegel, G. D. Cascino, A. J. Fessler, E. L. So, F. B. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Psychiatric disorders may occur in patients with intractable partial epilepsy after surgical treatment. Previous reports attributed the presence of psychological adverse events to specific pathological entities such as dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumors (DNETs) and gangliogliomas. The rationale for the present study is to evaluate the importance of the surgical pathology in individuals undergoing epilepsy surgery. Methods: The patients were separated into three groups based on the surgical pathology: group I ganglioglioma (N = 25), group II DNETs (N = 25), and group III mesial temporal sclerosis (N = 25). Thirteen of the 75 patients (17.3%) had a preexisting psychiatric disorder. The most common preoperative psychiatric diagnosis was depression (N = 4). Sixty-three of the lesions (84%) were restricted to the temporal lobe. The operative strategy included resection of the lesion and epileptogenic cortex. Sixty-two of the 75 patients (83%) were rendered seizure-free. Results: Eight of the 75 patients (10.7%) had an acquired psychiatric illness following surgical treatment. A mood disorder developed in three patients after surgery. No statistical difference emerged in preoperative psychiatric co-morbidity (no group difference; p = 1.0) or in newly diagnosed postoperative psychiatric disease (group I vs. II, p = 0.67; group I vs. III, p = 1.0; and group II vs. III, p = 0.67) within the three surgical pathology groups. Conclusion: This study indicates that the presence of psychiatric disease before and after surgery for intractable partial epilepsy, predominantly of temporal lobe origin, was independent of the pathological findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-162
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Postoperative psychosis
  • Psychiatric co-morbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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