Psychiatric and Behavioural Disorders in Children with Epilepsy (ILAE Task Force Report): Epilepsy and psychosis in children and teenagers

Frank Besag*, Rochelle Caplan, Albert Aldenkamp, David W. Dunn, Giuseppe Gobbi, Matti Sillanpaa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Psychosis related to epilepsy or antiepileptic treatment can occur in teenagers and very rarely in children. Postictal, interictal and antiepileptic-drug-induced psychosis have all been reported in young people. Whether ictal psychosis occurs in this age group remains open to debate. Neuronal antibody encephalitis such as anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis can present with seizures and psychosis, both of which can resolve with prompt, appropriate immunotherapy. In addition, there have been several reports in which the terms psychosis or psychotic features have been used loosely to describe behavioural disturbance in children with epilepsy; in these cases there have apparently been no diagnostic features of psychosis, implying that these terms should not have been used. The management of epilepsy-related psychosis in young people is similar to that in adults. Antipsychotic medication should not be withheld if it is needed on clinical grounds. If the psychosis has been induced by antiepileptic medication then a medication review is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S31-S36
JournalEpileptic Disorders
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • psychosis
  • postictal
  • interictal
  • antiepileptic drug
  • schizophrenia
  • affective

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