Strong Two-Way Link Between Epilepsy and Depression

A large Danish study supports a robust and long-term bidirectional relationship between epilepsy and depression, with implications for diagnosis and patient care. Eva Bolling-Ladegaard The findings “strongly support previous observations of a bidirectional association between these two brain disorders,” Eva Bolling-Ladegaard, MD, PhD student, Department of Clinical Medicine (Neurology), Aarhus University, Denmark, told Medscape Medical … Read more

Antibiotic May Enhance TMS, Improve Depression Outcomes

Administering D-cycloserine (DCS) along with transmagnetic stimulation (TMS) may be a promising strategy to improve outcomes in major depressive disorder (MDD), new research suggests. “The take-home message is that this proof-of-concept study opens up a new avenue of treatment research so that in the future, we may be able to provide our patients with safe … Read more

High-Dose Folic Acid During Pregnancy Tied to Cancer Risk in Kids

Prenatal exposure to high-dose folic acid is associated with a greater than twofold increased risk for cancer in children of mothers with epilepsy, new data from a Scandinavian registry of more than 3 million pregnancies suggests. The increased risk for cancer did not change after considering other factors that could explain the risk, such as … Read more

Plasma Biomarkers Predict COVID Neurologic Complications

SAN DIEGO – Even after recovery of an acute COVID-19 infection, some patients experience extended or even long-term symptoms that can range from mild to debilitating. Some of these symptoms are neurological: headaches, brain fog, cognitive impairment, loss of taste or smell, and even cerebrovascular complications such stroke. There are even hints that COVID-19 infection … Read more

New Data Support Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression

Advocates and users of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have received further scientific backing: a retrospective cohort study has provided further evidence that ECT can prevent suicide among severely depressed patients. The patient cohort comprised 27,231 men and 40,096 women who had been treated as inpatients. The average age was 45.1 years (range: 18-103 years), and 4982 … Read more

The Role of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Major Depressive Disorder

This transcript has been edited for clarity. Madhukar Trivedi, MD: Hello. Welcome to the podcast. My name is Madhukar Trivedi. I’m professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and the founding director of the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care. Today it gives me great pleasure to introduce my colleague and friend, Dr Jonathan Downar, … Read more

the History and Future of Psychosurgery

In the early 20th century, there were a few psychiatrists ― perhaps intrepid, perhaps deluded ― who, despite no formal surgical training, were impelled to breach their patients’ skulls. Inspired by the surgical innovations of the day, they were curious about the physical nature of the psyche and whether invasive surgical procedures might be a … Read more

Air Pollution a Seizure Trigger for Patients With Epilepsy

Elevated concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) due to air pollution increases the risk of epileptic seizures, a unique new study suggests. The link between daily outdoor CO exposure and seizure risk was particularly evident for subclinical seizures ― those in patients with abnormal electroencephalography (EEG) signals but no clinical symptoms. “Our findings suggest that people … Read more

Has the Anti-Benzodiazepine Backlash Gone Too Far?

When benzodiazepines were first introduced, they were greeted with enthusiasm. Librium came first, in 1960, followed by Valium in 1962, and they were seen as an improvement over barbiturates for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. From 1968 to 1982, Valium (diazepam) was the No. 1-selling US pharmaceutical: 2.3 billion tablets of Valium were … Read more

ILAE Offers First Guide to Treating Depression in Epilepsy

The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) has issued recommendations for treating depression in patients with epilepsy. The new guidance highlights the high prevalence of depression among patients with epilepsy while offering the first systematic approach to treatment, reported lead author Marco Mula, MD, PhD, of Atkinson Morley Regional Neuroscience Center at St George’s University Hospital, … Read more