Alcohol Use Disorder and Depression in Patients with Alcohol-Related Seizures

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Abstract

Both alcohol use disorder and depression are important aspects of health in the general population and among patients with epilepsy. Depression is the most prevalent psychiatric comorbidity in epilepsy, thereby increasing morbidity as well as mortality rate. From our experience, we can see that one third of epilepsy inpatients experience seizures that are alcohol-related. There have been no studies conducted in Latvia about alcohol use disorder and depression in patients with alcohol-related seizures (ARS) and epilepsy. We recruited 108 patients with ARS, 44 of whom had comorbid epilepsy. 75% of patients in our study had depression according to the Hamilton depression scale. Higher score in the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test was associated with thoughts of self-harm. Greater consumption of alcohol on a typical day when drinking was associated with a higher risk of alcohol dependence. Of patients without epilepsy, 60% received antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and 17% even used 2–3 different drugs to overcome ARS. A large part of patients had not been warned by their physician that alcohol provokes seizures. Our data could help to identify greater suicidality risk and alcohol dependence risk cases in patients with ARS, as well as improve care for this group of patients in general.

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