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Bipolar Symptoms in Epilepsy Patients and Migraine
Ettinger AB, et al.
Posted: October 2005  
Neurology 2005;65:535-40

Symptoms of bipolar disorder appear to be significantly more common among patients with epilepsy as compared with patients who have other chronic conditions. Findings also suggest that bipolar symptoms are often unrecognized or are attributed to unipolar depression in patients with epilepsy.

A total of 85,358 people responded to a survey with usable data. Among respondents, researchers identified 8,994 patients with migraine. The prevalence of bipolar symptoms in patients with migraine was 7.2%.

The authors noted that patients with epilepsy had an odds ratio for bipolar symptoms of 1.55 as compared with migraine patients, 1.87. Additionally, 47.9% of epilepsy patient who had bipolar symptoms had received a prior diagnosis of bipolar disorder; researchers observed that this rate was nearly double that observed among patients with other chronic conditions (migraine; 26.5%).

Significant predictors of bipolar symptoms among all disease groups were a younger age and a family history of bipolar symptoms. Male sex was also a significant predictor of bipolar symptoms among patients with epilepsy, asthma, and migraine, but not among patients with diabetes.