Epilepsy treatment as a predeterminant of psychosocial ill health

Piero Perucca, Frank G. Gilliam, Bettina Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Epilepsy is a chronic disorder with complex effects on social, vocational, physical, and psychological well-being. Patient-oriented research has demonstrated that recurrent seizures have a strong adverse effect on health-related quality of life, but also that seizure rate in persons with pharmacoresistant epilepsy has only a modest correlation with quality of life. Although treatment side effects have received limited attention in epilepsy research, available evidence indicates that adverse medication effects may explain more variance in quality of life than any other clinical variable in persons with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Furthermore, systematic screening for adverse effects has been shown to be associated with significant reduction in subjective toxicity and improvement in quality of life. There has been only limited research on the relative contribution of specific adverse effects to impaired health-related quality of life. The relative importance of reduction of medication burden after resective epilepsy surgery or vagal nerve stimulation has similarly received sparse attention. Existing deficiencies in the available published research present challenges and opportunities to perform further investigations to define and improve best clinical practices in epilepsy care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number2 SUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti epileptic Drug
  • Epilepsy
  • Quality of Life
  • Side effects

Cite this