Psychosocial difficulties in people with epilepsy: a systematic review of literature from 2005 until 2010.
PURPOSE To discern more static and lesion based from more dynamic epilepsy-driven features of depression and personality in focal symptomatic epilepsy, change in personality and mood was examined as a function of focus lateralization and seizure outcome after epilepsy surgery. METHODS Self-reported personality and depression were assessed before and 1 year after epilepsy surgery in 151 consecutive patients with temporal (N=125) or extratemporal lobe epilepsy (N=26). RESULTS At baseline only depressed mood (31%) and introversion (38%) appeared elevated, the first being more frequent in right lateralized epilepsies, the latter being pronounced in temporal lobe epilepsy. After surgery, seizure freedom was associated with a significant change in neuroticism as well as with improvements in mood and symptoms of an organic psycho-syndrome. Differential changes were observed for seizure-free left (enhanced emotional stabilization) versus right temporal resected patients (decreased anxiety and impulsivity, less vegetative symptoms). CONCLUSIONS Apart from elevated depression and introversion scores which showed some relation to pathology, no major deviant personality features could be discerned. While seizure freedom related improvements may indicate both epilepsy and reactively driven behavioral changes, the differential recovery observed in seizure-free left versus right temporal resected patients indicate epilepsy-specific behavioral dysfunction.