Possible Connection Between Panic Disorder and Epilepsy

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Letter to the Editor

Sir: Roy-Byrne and colleagues found that epilepsy appeared concurrently with panic disorder at a statistically significant rate in their patient sample. They make, however, only brief note of and do not discuss this finding. There are other reports that epilepsy appears with a higher incidence in panic patients than in the general population. Some authors suggest the existence of a connection between panic attacks and seizures, and perhaps between panic disorder and epilepsy. It may therefore be of interest if the authors could describe how many of their patients with panic and epilepsy had generalized seizures versus partial seizures. How many patients were given anticonvulsants? (Anticonvulsants are not included in their list of medications.) Of these, in what proportion of cases was the anticonvulsant the antipanic medication? And what, if any, was the cost of diagnosis, treatment, and disability specifically related to epilepsy in the panic patients?

J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(8):602