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Anticipatory anxiety of epileptic seizures: An overlooked dimension linked to trauma history.

Seizure. 2020 Dec 18;85:64-69

Authors: Ertan D, Hubert-Jacquot C, Maillard L, Sanchez S, Jansen C, Fracomme L, Schwan R, Hopes L, Javelot H, Tyvaert L, Vignal JP, El-Hage W, Hingray C

OBJECTIVE: Fear of having a seizure called anticipatory anxiety of epileptic seizure (AAS), constitutes a daily life burden but has been rarely studied. Our aim was to assess the prevalence and the determining factors of AAS in patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy, a dimension that has not been thoroughly investigated before.
METHODS: We conducted an observational, prospective study enrolling patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. The psychiatric assessment aimed to evaluate psychiatric comorbidities, trauma history, and quality of life using hetero-evaluation and self-assessment tools. Dimensions of anxiety specifically related to epilepsy (peri-and-inter-ictal) were explored as exhaustively as possible.
RESULTS: AAS was found in 53 % of the 87 patients. We compared the two groups of patients: with or without AAS. Patients with AAS had a significantly shorter duration of epilepsy (p = 0.04). There was no difference between groups with respect to psychiatric disorders, except for cannabis dependence, more frequent in patients with AAS (p = 0.02). Compared to patients without AAS, those with AAS presented more subjective ictal anxiety (p = 0.0003) and postictal anxiety (p = 0.02), were more likely to avoid outdoor social situations due to seizure fear (p = 0.001), and had a poorer quality of life (QOLIE emotional well-being; p = 0.03). Additionally, they had experienced more traumatic events in their lifetime (p = 0.005) and reported more frequently a feeling of being unsafe during their seizures (p = 0.00002).
SIGNIFICANCE: AAS is a specific dimension of anxiety, possibly linked to trauma history. AAS is strongly linked to subjective ictal anxiety but not to the objective severity of seizures or frequency.

PMID: 33444881 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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