The clinical discipline of neuropsychiatry embraces a wide range of conditions at the interface between neurology and psychiatry which are best dealt with by specialists with multidisciplinary skills. Epilepsy is currently recognised as a quintessentially neuropsychiatric disorder, with its multifaceted spectrum of clinically relevant behavioural symptoms, which often affect patients' health-related quality of life to a greater extent than seizures. A lifetime history of psychiatric disorders is reported by one in three patients with epilepsy, with neurobiological, psychological, social, and iatrogenic aetiologies, to name but a few. Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Epilepsy addresses important gaps in knowledge, understanding and management of behavioural symptoms in patients with epilepsy. The book comprehensively covers the complex territory at the borderlands between neurological and psychiatric aspects of epilepsy, which are discussed in the light of up-to-date information in a concise and clinically relevant manner.
The essential contributions of basic sciences to the understanding of human behaviour both in health and in pathological conditions are not overlooked, as the opening chapter outlines the role of animal models in the study of neurobehavioural comorbidities of epilepsy. The following chapters cover the full spectrum of behavioural symptoms reported by patients with epilepsy, both ictally and interictally: affective disorders, anxiety, psychosis, obsessionality and aggressiveness. Of particular interest are the chapters exploring the bi-directional relationship with sleep, stress and cognitive functions. Ictal experiential phenomena, for example dissociative symptoms and alterations of consciousness, are portrayed as open windows onto the neurobiology of human behaviour. The final three chapters address treatment strategies such as epilepsy surgery, anti-epileptic drugs and neurostimulation techniques. Case vignettes scattered throughout the book remind the readers that this book was essentially written by clinicians for clinicians.
The multidisciplinary approach to the care of patients with epilepsy is reflected by the variety of contributors' backgrounds, in terms of both specialties and geographical distribution. Consequently, the range of specialists who will find a valuable resource in this book encompasses neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, allied health professionals, and all researchers who have an interest in epilepsy and its psychiatric comorbidities. Most importantly, this multi-authored work can ultimately improve the standards of care provided to patients with epilepsy and their health-related quality of life.