ARCH Lab Contributes to Study on Changes in Emotional Functioning Following Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery

The ARCH Lab contributed to a study titled “Longitudinal changes in emotional functioning following pediatric resective epilepsy surgery: 2-year follow-up”. The study looked at long term changes and predictors of depression and anxiety in the two years following epilepsy surgery in children with drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE).

Data came from 128 children and adolescents with DRE (48 receiving surgery, 80 not receiving surgery; 8-18 years old) who completed self-report measures of depression and anxiety at baseline and three follow-up timepoints (6-month, 1-year, and 2-year).

Results showed that for youth undergoing surgery, a reduction in depressive symptoms was seen over time, irrespective of seizure outcome. In contrast, trends differed depending on seizure outcome in nonsurgical patients; a negative trend was found for those with continued seizures, whereas an increase in symptoms was found for those who achieved seizure freedom. The finding that children with DRE who did not undergo surgery reported a worsening of depressive symptoms when achieving seizure freedom may indicate difficulty adjusting to life without seizures. This highlights a potential need for ongoing medical and psychosocial follow-up and support.