Since the clinical observations published by Janz in 1957, the presence of personality irregularities in patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) has been described repeatedly, but never quantified using standardized assessments. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether juveniles with a short history of JME exhibit psychopathological symptoms and/or personality irregularities.
We used standardized assessments, the Youth Self Report (YSR) and the Weinberger Adjustment Inventory (WAI).
Of 38 patients who fulfilled the study entry criteria, 25 agreed to participate and completed all surveys. On the YSR, our sample exhibited twice the amount of psychiatric symptoms than age-matched norms. Furthermore, psychopathological symptoms increased with duration of JME. According to WAI results, JME significantly affected self-restraint: patients with longer disease duration showed less self-control.
Adolescents with JME present not only with neurological abnormalities but also with significant psychopathology and personality irregularities. Our data suggest that psychological and behavioral changes are dynamic processes dependent on the progression of the disease.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Myoclonic Epilepsy, Juvenile/drug therapy
Myoclonic Epilepsy, Juvenile/psychology*
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
Valproic Acid/therapeutic use
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