The prevalence of depression in patients with epilepsy (PWE) is high. To elucidate the nature of depression in PWE, a comparison
was made between PWE and patients with idiopathic depression (PWID), applying 3 test batteries: Beck Depression Inventory II
(BDI-II), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BAQ). The former 2
rating scales were developed to measure depressive symptoms, while the latter was designed to detect anger and aggressive states. As a
result, the group of patients with PWE showed significantly higher BAQ scores in comparison to those with PWID. Further, the BAQ and
BDI scores were closely related within a group of PWE, while BAQ and BDI scores were not correlated with each other within a group
of PWID. With regard to pharmaceutical therapy, the safety of antidepressants, especially SSRIs, is well established. However, there has
been only one randomized controlled trial (RCT) thus far, which failed to show a significant difference in efficacy between placebo and
various antidepressants. In contrast, there are two RCTs regarding the efficacy of LTG. The clinical profile of the depressiolytic effects of
LTG in PWE may be different from that of antidepressants in patients with idiopathic depression, in that BAQ is more sensitive measure
than BDI or CES-D. It is now widely recognized that the failure to treat depression in PWE can result in serious consequences. However,
even a fundamental question, such as whether antidepressants are as effective in this population as in PWID, remains to be answered.
Aggression, depression, epilepsy, Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BAQ), randomized controlled trial (RCT), placebo, antidepressants, depressiolytic effects
Aichi Medical University, Neuropsychiatric Department, Aichi 480-1195, Japan.