Alcohol-related seizures may be associated with more severe depression, alcohol dependence syndrome, and more pronounced alcohol-related problems

Evija Gutmane, Normunds Suna, Anastasija Tomilova, Lelde Liepina, Valdis Folkmanis, Guntis Karelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Severe alcohol abuse and related medical and social functioning risks, as well as clinically significant depression, are common in patients who are admitted to hospital with alcohol-related seizures (ARS) and significantly affect the quality of life of the patient. Compared with studies involving patients with alcohol dependence, no large-scale studies with the aim of finding the prevalence and severity of depression and its most commonly affected aspects for patients with ARS have been carried out in Latvia yet. The habits and frequency of alcohol use in correlation to depression and its severity are also not known. One hundred ten patients were included in the study – 60 patients with ARS and 50 patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) – without ARS. The research population consists mainly of working-age adults; however, most patients with ARS have significantly impaired daily activity and social life. Compared with patients who only have alcohol dependence, a more common problem in patients with ARS is having an alcohol dependence level that requires additional clinical examinations and consultations by a narcologist using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) scale, and this level is more often related to depression particularly characterized by pronounced suicidal thoughts (exhibited by almost 1 out of every 4 patients). According to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), depression has affected 81.7% of patients with ARS and 96% of patients with AUD. Seizures negatively affect patients’ physical and emotional well-being in over 80% of cases; moreover, it is common for most patients to feel depressed after the seizures. Over half of the patients with ARS scored 20–40 points according to the AUDIT scale, indicating serious alcohol abuse disorder. Our research data can help bring awareness of the need to more carefully evaluate patients with ARS for an early detection of alcohol abuse disorder and depression with a risk of self-harm and unintentional harm to others as well as to decrease the burden on social care and healthcare. This article is part of the Special Issue “Individualized Epilepsy Management: Medicines, Surgery and Beyond”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Alcohol-related seizures
  • Depression
  • HAM-D

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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