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Epilepsy and violence: case series concerning physical trauma in children of persons with epilepsy
Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV). Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Neurology. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in West Östergötland, Department of Medical Specialist in Motala.
2014 (English)In: Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, ISSN 1176-6328, E-ISSN 1178-2021, Vol. 10, 2183-2189 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Historically, epilepsy has been associated with violence, but more recent studies have emphasized genetic and psychosocial factors as more important. The case series presented here aim to highlight the difficult situation the affected children are in. We report on three cases when children have been traumatized and, in one case, even been killed by their parent who was diagnosed with epilepsy. In the first case, we describe a woman with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy who was sentenced to forensic psychiatry care for killing her child. She lived under difficult psychosocial circumstances and a suicide attempt contributed to what happened. The second case describes a man with post-traumatic seizures who was sentenced for child abuse. Ictal or postictal violence was considered in these two cases but a causal link between the violence and epilepsy has not been established. In the third case, we describe a woman with focal epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNESs). Her child was hurt and frightened in relation to violent seizures, which were regarded as PNESs. This case series demonstrates that children of parents with epilepsy can be in a vulnerable situation. No causality has been established between the seizures and these events, so consequently other factors such as psychosocial stress, low cognitive function, and a suicide attempt must also be considered as important. When a child is hurt by a parent with epilepsy the patient must be closely examined to determine the role of the seizures. Children can also be affected by PNESs. It is essential to notice especially those children of parents with epilepsy who live under difficult psychosocial circumstances and offer extra support when necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dove Medical Press , 2014. Vol. 10, 2183-2189 p.
Keyword [en]
homicide; epilepsy; child abuse; children; psychosocial; crime; law
National Category
Clinical Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112846DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S68438ISI: 000344930400001PubMedID: 25484586OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-112846DiVA: diva2:776748
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2014-12-17 Last updated: 2017-12-05

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Gauffin, HelenaLandtblom, Anne-Marie

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Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV)Division of NeuroscienceFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of NeurologyDepartment of Medical Specialist in Motala
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Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
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