Patients with epilepsy and refractory comorbid psychiatric disorders often experience functional impairments and a lower quality of life as well as showing a lack of compliance with anti‐epileptic medication regimens. We reasoned that widespread clinical benefits could be gained if the psychiatric comorbidities among these patients were reduced. In this study, we assessed the utility of anterior capsulotomy in managing medication‐refractory comorbid psychotic symptoms and aggression in patients with epilepsy.
In this retrospective case series, we evaluated the clinical outcomes of 13 epilepsy patients with severe psychiatric comorbidities who had received bilateral anterior capsulotomy. Clinical outcome assessments were performed at 1 week, 6 months, 1 year, and several years after surgery focusing on: (a) severity of psychotic symptoms, as assessed by the 18‐item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale; (b) severity of impulsivity and aggression, measured by the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale‐11 and the Buss‐Perry Aggression Scale; and (c) social function and quality of life, assessed by the Social Disability Screening Scale and the Quality of Life in Epilepsy.
After anterior capsulotomy, patients displayed significant improvements of psychotic symptoms, as well as of impulsivity and aggression, along with improvements of social function and quality of life. The clinical benefits to patients were evident within 6 months after surgery and remained stable or continued to improve at a much slower rate thereafter. Furthermore, after anterior capsulotomy all patients complied with epilepsy interventions that they did not comply with prior to surgery. No significant side effects or complications occurred during the study.
Anterior capsulotomy seems to be a safe and effective treatment for epilepsy patients with otherwise intractable comorbid psychotic symptoms and aggression. Moreover, this neurosurgical treatment may improve the patients' social function, quality of life, and compliance with anti‐epilepsy medication regimens.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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