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Health Study Correlates Epilepsy with Schizophrenia

A study that was conducted by a Taiwanese group of researchers has found an invariable link between the mental health illness, schizophrenia and the physiological illness epilepsy. According to the new study which was released and later published in the medical journal Epilepsia; findings show that patients with epilepsy had the potential risk of also having schizophrenia. It was found that 0.35% per 1000 person-years of patients with epilepsy experienced schizophrenia. This was in comparison to the 0.05 percent without epilepsy. It was also found that the patient group that had schizophrenia ran at 0.7% per 1000 person-years for also having epilepsy.

In the United States alone, the incidents involving epilepsy amounts to 300000 children under the age of 15. That doesnıt take adults into consideration and it certainly doesn't account for schizophrenia which runs at roughly 2.2 million people nationwide and still counting. It isnıt just the disease which is winning in this battle, the two are some of the most costly illnesses in the United States and schizophrenia alone raked in $62.7 billion way back in 2002. That means the growing numbers account for an even bigger cost to the national budget.

Both illnesses are considered genetic illnesses although environmental factors can also trigger them. From a health insurance perspective, both illnesses are covered. However, there are still restrictions on coverage especially with the medication which are quite costly. The study helps illuminate some of the potential actions that could be taken which could affect both diseases. In this case, costs would lower and will help families who are already struggling with the illnesses.

The study was conducted on a relatively big scale - almost 5,200 for those patients with schizophrenia and another 11,500 for those with epilepsy. As control methods, both age and sex were taken into account for the study.

The research study's lead author, Dr. I-Ching Chou concurs that there is indeed a strong correlation between the two illnesses. It was also established that the relation does not just go in one direction but is bidirectional. He also agrees however, that further research is still necessary in order to figure out what the factors are.

All in all, the results are positive in establishing the relationship between the two illnesses. It does however bring up the need for further research on what causes the illnesses.

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