Kids’ seizures and psychiatric problems

Epilepsy contributes to psychiatric symptoms in children, which are often expressed differently in boys and girls, a Norwegian observational study has found. Researchers analysed data from a comprehensive health questionnaire completed by 14,699 parents of children aged 8–13 years. Of the 64 boys and 46 girls in that population who had epilepsy, they found that: 

• 38% of children with epilepsy had psychiatric symptoms, compared with 17% of the controls. 

• Girls were more likely to have “emotional problems” while boys were more likely to have hyperactivity/inattention problems and problems with peer relationships. 

• Boys had a higher risk of psychiatric symptoms in both the epilepsy population and in controls; however, epilepsy itself played a bigger role in contributing to problems in girls. 

• Other independent risk factors for psychiatric symptoms included a low