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Epilepsy and violence: case series concerning physical trauma in children of persons with epilepsy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Neurology.
2014 (English)In: Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, ISSN 1176-6328, E-ISSN 1178-2021, Vol. 10, 2183-2189 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Historically, epilepsy has been associated with violence, but more recent studies have emphasized genetic and psychosocial factors as more important. The case series presented here aim to highlight the difficult situation the affected children are in. We report on three cases when children have been traumatized and, in one case, even been killed by their parent who was diagnosed with epilepsy. In the first case, we describe a woman with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy who was sentenced to forensic psychiatry care for killing her child. She lived under difficult psychosocial circumstances and a suicide attempt contributed to what happened. The second case describes a man with post-traumatic seizures who was sentenced for child abuse. Ictal or postictal violence was considered in these two cases but a causal link between the violence and epilepsy has not been established. In the third case, we describe a woman with focal epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNESs). Her child was hurt and frightened in relation to violent seizures, which were regarded as PNESs. This case series demonstrates that children of parents with epilepsy can be in a vulnerable situation. No causality has been established between the seizures and these events, so consequently other factors such as psychosocial stress, low cognitive function, and a suicide attempt must also be considered as important. When a child is hurt by a parent with epilepsy the patient must be closely examined to determine the role of the seizures. Children can also be affected by PNESs. It is essential to notice especially those children of parents with epilepsy who live under difficult psychosocial circumstances and offer extra support when necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 10, 2183-2189 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-238942DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S68438ISI: 000344930400001PubMedID: 25484586OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-238942DiVA: diva2:772854
Available from: 2014-12-17 Created: 2014-12-17 Last updated: 2015-09-10Bibliographically approved

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