Suicide in Children and Adults with Epilepsy: A Complex Relationship

  • Jana E. JonesEmail author
  • Jessica M. Bordenave


Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, with approximately 50 million people worldwide diagnosed with epilepsy. Suicide is a potentially preventable cause of death in epilepsy, yet it accounts for a large proportion of mortality in epilepsy with rates reported to be three to five times higher compared to healthy controls in population-based studies. In this chapter, we reviewed a number of the complexities involved in suicide among people with epilepsy, including the following: (a) prevalence of suicide compared to the general population in adults and children, (b) risk factors for suicidal behavior, (c) the bidirectional relationship between epilepsy and suicide, (d) the role of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in suicide risk, and (e) assessment of suicidal behavior as well as a review of clinical interventions aimed at treatment and prevention of suicidal behavior and its risk factors in epilepsy.


Epilepsy Suicide Prevalence Comorbidity Seizures Screening 



Antiepileptic drugs


Adjusted hazard ratio


Adjusted odds ratio


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Confidence interval


US Food and Drug Administration


Incidence rate ratio


Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia – Present and Lifetime Version


Odds ratio


Prevalence ratio


Standardized mortality ratio


Temporal lobe epilepsy


Wisconsin Card Sorting Test


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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