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Emotions in epilepsy

Posted by Chapouthier on 25 Jun 2012 at 11:05 GMT

This article deals with a very interesting question: the possible relationship between epilepsy and emotional disturbances such as anxiety or depression. The authors analyzed the consequences of two temporal lobe models of epilepsy in Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats: the lithium-pilocarpine (LIP) model and the kainic acid (KA) model. They found several differences. Both model led to reduced social contacts but LIP treated animals were more strongly affected and they also had a higher motivation for saccharin consumption. In the open-field, LIP-treated rats showed a very low level of anxiety whereas in KA-treated rats the decreased was mild. Finally levels in corticosterone were increased only in the LIP-treated rats. Comparisons of these two models clearly show that emotional disturbances related to epilepsy depend upon the model and are no inherent to the epileptic condition. They reflect specific model-dependent alterations in anxiety levels and corticosterone regulation, possibly linked to specific and localized limbic area damages. These data obtained in rats, could have interesting consequences on the clinical side, in the appreciation of emotional disturbances of human epileptic patients.

No competing interests declared.