Evidence suggests that these two brain disorders may share
Auditory hallucinations. Unusual feelings or sensations.
Dreamlike alterations in consciousness. These can be symptoms of
both schizophrenia and epilepsy. Evidence continues to accumulate
that the two brain disorders overlap in ways that researchers are
still trying to understand.
In a paper, researchers at the China Medical University in Taiwan
analyzed medical records stored in a national registry to
determine how many people initially diagnosed with schizophrenia
later developed epilepsy — and vice versa. The results suggest
that people who develop one of these disorders are at heightened
risk for the other. People with schizophrenia were nearly six
times as likely to develop epilepsy compared with other people,
while individuals with epilepsy were nearly eight times as likely
to develop schizophrenia compared with other people.
The findings add to earlier evidence that schizophrenia and
epilepsy often occur in tandem. Although all of these studies are
observational — meaning they can detect patterns but not prove
cause and effect — they suggest that schizophrenia and epilepsy
may share biological roots. The factors that contribute to both
disorders likely consist of some mix of genetic changes and
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