Research by Taiwanese scientists has shown that there is a bidirectional relationship between schizophrenia and epilepsy. According to this study, which has been published in a magazine of the International League Against Epilepsy, patients with epilepsy are almost eight times more likely to develop schizophrenia, while in individuals with schizophrenia the chances of developing epilepsy are multiplied by six.

Previous studies had already confirmed a prevalence of psychosis among patients with epilepsy, and in research on psychiatric illnesses a strong relationship between schizophrenia and epilepsy had been observed, suggesting that both diseases could share a certain susceptibility, which could be due to causes genetic, environmental or neurobiological.

Researchers have found a strong relationship between schizophrenia and epilepsy, which may be the result of genetic, environmental or neurobiological causes

To carry out the study, the database of the Taiwan National Health Insurance, where 5,195 patients with schizophrenia and 11,527 patients with epilepsy, diagnosed between 1999 and 2008, were identified.

The analysis of these data showed that the incidence of epilepsy was higher in the group of patients with schizophrenia, at 6.99 per 1,000 people per year, compared to 1.19 in the control group without schizophrenia. As for schizophrenia, its incidence was 3.53 per 1,000 people per year for patients with epilepsy compared to 0.46 in the control group without epilepsy.

Dr. I-Ching Chou, associate professor at the Medical University of China in Taichung, Taiwan, and lead author of the work, explained that these results show that there is a close bidirectional relationship between schizophrenia and epilepsy, and that it could be due to factors common to both pathologies such as genetic predisposition and environmental factors, although new studies are needed to investigate the pathological mechanisms.


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