"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

ADHD and epilepsy in adults: what it’s best to know

July 13, 2023 — Around 20 of 100 Adults with epilepsy might also have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, and latest research shows the The more uncontrolled seizures a patient has, the upper his or her risk of developing ADHD.

Both diseases often begin early in life – it's estimated that 30 to 40% of kids with epilepsy suffer from ADHD. Because epilepsy is so common, it affects about 50 million people worldwide – Researchers are striving to seek out out more about this connection.

A new study from Taiwan found that ADHD and epilepsy share a typical genetic background and lots of the same chromosomal abnormalities. Both genetic and environmental aspects also appear to play a job, the study authors suggest. For example, a family history of epilepsy and ADHD correlated with a 40% risk of developing each disorders. And the study authors cited research showing that the more air pollution an individual is exposed to as a toddler, the greater the likelihood of a dual diagnosis of ADHD and epilepsy.

“In an adult diagnosed with epilepsy and/or ADHD, the same factors may well play a role, but research on this is limited,” said Erin Fedak Romanowski, DOa pediatric neurologist in the great pediatric epilepsy program on the University of Michigan Health CS Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. “It is understandable that many children with ADHD and chronic epilepsy grow into adults with both ADHD and epilepsy. For the best outcomes, it is important to identify and treat both conditions early.”

Here's what it's best to know concerning the two diseases and the possible connection between them.

What comes first, epilepsy or ADHD?

We don't know of course, however it is evident that the best way epilepsy affects the brain could play a key role in the event of ADHD.

A new study from Israel points out that although no direct reason has yet been found as to why epilepsy and ADHD often go hand in hand, many combined aspects play a job.

For epilepsythe electrical pattern of the brain becomes unbalancedwhich results in seizures (either generalized, affecting cells in two parts of the brain, or focal, affecting cells in just one part). Patients with seizures that affect the frontal lobe of the brain have a high rate of ADHD. The more seizures a patient has that will not be effectively controlled by medication, the upper their risk of developing ADHD. This possible trigger for ADHD might be because of problems with the frontal lobe itself, electrical charges from the seizures, or undiagnosed brain lesions.

“Some people who develop seizures have underlying brain damage,” said Elissa Yozawitz, MD, Director of the Division of Neonatal Neurology and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “Some of these individuals have a predominant dysfunction of the inhibitory neurons, which leads to a predominance of excitation and cerebral hyperarousal with accompanying ADHD. In individuals with cerebral hyperarousal, ADHD manifests itself.”

A new study British researchers also found that epileptic seizures in infancy can result in ADHD symptoms later in childhood and adolescence. Severe epileptic seizures in the primary two years of a toddler's life can open a pathway that results in the event of ADHD symptoms later. This occurs through a link with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a condition that causes gene mutations.

“Young people with epilepsy are more likely to have mental health disorders than people with other chronic conditions, including ADHD,” Romanowski said. “The exact mechanism linking the two disorders is not yet fully understood. The co-presence of other developmental disorders, poor seizure control, and the use of multiple antiepileptic drugs may play a role in ADHD and epilepsy.”

What are the symptoms of epilepsy?

There are six kinds of generalized seizures:

  1. Absence seizures which have the identical symptoms as a focal seizure
  2. Atonic seizures, through which your muscles weaken, causing your body to limp otherwise you to suddenly fall to the bottom
  3. Tonic seizures, where your muscles stiffen
  4. Clonic seizures, through which your muscles make jerking movements
  5. Tonic-clonic seizures, through which chances are you'll lose consciousness and have convulsions
  6. Myoclonic seizures, through which your muscles briefly twitch or jerk

The symptoms of a partial seizure vary depending on whether you might be awake or not throughout the seizure. Signs of a partial seizure if you end up conscious include:

  • Changes in taste, smell or hearing
  • Mood swings
  • Twitching of muscles that you simply cannot control
  • Seeing flashing lights
  • dizziness
  • Tingle

Symptoms of a focal seizure with impaired consciousness include:

  • Astonished stare
  • Repetitive movements: blinking, repeated rubbing of hands, repeated mouth or finger movements

What are the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults?

Signs of ADHD in an adult contain:

  • Impulsive motion
  • Problems with the organization
  • Problems with time management
  • Poor concentration
  • Multitasking problems
  • Unrest
  • Problems with planning
  • Become frustrated quickly
  • Mood swings
  • Problems completing tasks
  • Getting offended quickly
  • Inability to deal well with stress

What treatments could help with each ADHD and epilepsy?

Recent Research points to the drug methylphenidate as a possible treatment for attention deficit symptoms because of epilepsy, although further studies are needed to find out how effective it is likely to be for many patients. Previous Research found that the drug can increase the frequency of seizures.

Right now, it's essential to talk over with your doctor about treatment options that may enable you to specifically. A vital strategy: If you've been diagnosed with epilepsy, watch out to not stop taking any medication that's already specifically designed to stop seizures, as this could be dangerous. Stopping or changing medication should only be done on the recommendation of your doctor.

If you're thinking that you've symptoms of ADHD, get a correct diagnosis, no matter your age. You may have the option to seek out out the reason behind your ADHD, which might expand your treatment options.

“The causes of ADHD can include environmental trauma, many different developmental disorders, psychiatric disorders, endocrine disorders and genetic disorders,” Yosawitz said.

And avoiding triggers of epilepsy and ADHD could make an enormous difference. That means managing stress, getting enough sleep, and eating nutritious meals repeatedly. Making healthy lifestyle selections is usually a easy but effective prevention tool and enable you to gain more control.