Back to Journals » Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment » Volume 15

Monitoring And Managing Depression In Adolescents With Epilepsy: Current Perspectives

Authors Coppola G, Operto FF, Matricardi S, Verrotti A

Received 9 June 2019

Accepted for publication 2 September 2019

Published 24 September 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 2773—2780


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning

Giangennaro Coppola,1 Francesca Felicia Operto,1 Sara Matricardi,2 Alberto Verrotti3

1Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Medicine, Surgery, and Odontoiatry, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy; 2Department of Pediatric Neurology, Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona, Italy; 3Department of Pediatrics, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy

Correspondence: Giangennaro Coppola
Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Odontoiatry, University of Salerno, Largo d’Ippocrate, 1, Salerno 84100, Italy
Tel/Fax +39 089672578
Email [email protected]

Abstract: Epilepsy is associated with a significantly increased risk of developing depressive disorder during adolescence. On the other hand, depression is highly detected in adolescents with epilepsy. These findings highlight the importance of early identification and proper management of comorbid depression in adolescent age. The prevalence of depressive disorders in adolescents with epilepsy ranges between 8 and 35% and is higher than the general population of the same age. The relationship between epilepsy and depression is complex and potentially bidirectional, thereby suggesting a common underlying pathophysiology. Furthermore, failure to detect and treat depressive disorder mostly in adolescence could lead to several negative implications such as an increased risk of suicidal ideation or behavior and poor quality of life. A number of methods are available to detect depressive disorder, such as psychiatric or psychological assessments, structured or semi-structured interviews, and self-report screening tools. Thus, physicians should be able to regularly screen depressive symptoms in youths with epilepsy. Recently, the NDDI-E-.Y inventory has been developed from the adult NDDI-E, and has been validated in many countries. NDDI-E-Y has showed reliable validity, being a brief screening tool (12 items) that can be easily included in routine epilepsy care. The first step to be considered for the management of depressive disorder in adolescents with epilepsy is to consider potential reversible causes of anxiety and depression (i.e., a new AEDs; seizure control). Secondly, great attention has to be given to the education of the child/adolescent and his/her family, trying to improve knowledge about epilepsy as well as to decrease parental stress and improving the child’s sense of competence. Pharmacological treatment should also be considered in adolescents diagnosed with depression.

Keywords: depression, adolescents, monitoring, management, epilepsy

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]