Fatigue and depression in epilepsy

Alan B. Ettinger, Deborah M. Weisbrot, Lauren B. Krupp, Patricia K. Coyle, Lina Jandorf, Orrin Devinsky

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29 Scopus citations


Fatigue is commonly reported as an adverse effect of antiepileptic drugs. In other disorders, fatigue has been closely correlated with depression. We examined the frequency of fatigue in epilepsy patients, the contribution of depression to fatigue, and the impact of fatigue upon quality of life. We measured fatigue and depression with the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale (CES-D), respectively in 89 patients with epilepsy at an epilepsy center, 26 depressed controls (DC), and 30 normal health adults (NHA). Patients with epilepsy also completed the Quality of Life in Epilepsy (QOLIE-10) scale. Forty-four percent of epilepsy patients met criteria for severe fatigue, while 52% were depressed. The correlation between fatigue and depression was high among epilepsy patients (r = .60, p = .0001). Both fatigue and depression had an inverse relationship with quality of life in epilepsy (p < .0001). Fatigue in epilepsy is common and is closely associated with depression. Fatigue is associated with significant impairment in quality of life in epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-109
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Epilepsy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Fatigue
  • Quality of life
  • Seizures


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