Individual neuropsychological characteristics in patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
Background. An association between juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) and nonpsychotic psychiatric and cognitive disorders has been described in recent years. Scientists are trying to link JME with certain personality traits marked by emotional instability.
Objective. The goal of our research was to assess the state of cognitive functions in young adult patients with JME–excluding the adverse side effects (ASEs) of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)–and analyze the level of personality and situational anxiety, neuroticism, and depression in young adult patients with JME.
Design. We tested 26 patients with JME and 26 healthy adults with the computer program NS-PsychoTest (Neurosoft Company, RF), a program which is aimed at studying and evaluating neuropsychological characteristics.
Results. Our study showed that the frequency of depressive symptoms, according to the cognitive-affective subscale (Beck’s Depression Inventory), in patients with JME was statistically significantly higher than among people without epilepsy. Comorbid personality and nonpsychotic psychiatric disorders are common interdisciplinary problems in JME management. Most practitioners pay attention only to the treatment of seizures caused by JME, and their patients, accordingly, do not receive adequate psychotherapeutic help.
Conclusion. Cognitive disorders are often associated with epilepsy, and are a result of a combination of factors. According to our study, in the presence of statistically significant differences in short-term memory and mental performance in patients with JME, compared to healthy young adults, the main indicators of cognitive function in patients with JME generally correspond to the norm. Our findings highlight the etiological heterogeneity of cognitive disorders in JME and the importance of early screening for them.
Keywords: juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), individual neuropsychological characteristics, cognitive functions, anxiety, depression.