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EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4 PM ET, April 16, 2002

Evidence Does Not Support Psychological Treatments for Epilepsy

Denver, Colo. – Psychological interventions are often used in attempts to reduce seizure frequency, improve the quality of life and avoid side effects of drug therapies among patients with epilepsy. While possibly encouraging and certainly not harmful, relaxation therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, EEG bio-feedback and patient education have not been shown to have a direct impact on seizures or quality of life, according to a study presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Through a retrospective review of randomized or quasi-randomized studies assessing one or more types of psychological or behavior modification techniques for patients with epilepsy, researchers from Apollo Hospital in Tamilnadu, India, found no reliable evidence to support the use of these treatments. "Some of the studies were of poor methodological quality, while others were contradictory in their results," notes study author Sridharan Ramaratnam, MD. "We found some promising indications regarding reduced anxiety, improved medication compliance and social competency, and even in seizure reduction to a slight degree, but further study is necessary to form more direct connections between psychological interventions and their potential for a positive impact with epilepsy patients."

The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 32,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit AAN.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Editor's Notes:Dr. Ramaratnam will present the research during a poster presentation on Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at 3:00 p.m. in Exhibit Hall C at the Colorado Convention Center.


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